Lesson Plan


Grade Levels

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Assessment Anchors

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Big Ideas




In this lesson, students will begin a portfolio to cultivate an awareness and practice of writing style, with the goal of developing their own individual voices. Students will:

  • revise the description of a startling moment (two to three paragraphs in length).
  • analyze several professionally written sentences and use them as models for their own sentences.
  • practice using a variety of sentence structures and sentence openings.
  • revise several sample paragraphs, concentrating on sentence length and openings.
  • sharpen their skills in word choice.
  • practice expressing themselves in a precise manner.
  • identify the characteristics of an effectively written passage.
  • revise their own writing, applying what they have learned about effective writing.
  • respond to the writing of their classmates.
  • continue a collection of their work in a portfolio, which they will maintain throughout the unit.

Essential Questions

  • What role does writing play in our lives?
  • How do we develop into effective writers?
  • To what extent does the writing process contribute to the quality of the writing?


  • Focus: The center of interest or attention.
  • Sensory Details: The use of words and phrases that appeal to the five senses. Writers use sensory details to help readers imagine how things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste.
  • Irrelevant Details: Having no bearing on or connection with the subject or topic.
  • Style: How an author writes; an author’s use of language; its effects and appropriateness to the author’s intent and theme.
  • Word Choice: The rich, colorful, and precise language that moves and enlightens the reader.
  • Voice: The fluency, rhythm, and liveliness in writing that make it unique to the writer.
  • Tone: The attitude of the author toward the audience and subject (e.g., playful, critical, ominous, wistful).
  • Redundancy: A writing flaw in which unnecessary wording is used.


100 minutes/2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills


Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

  • “The Process Writing Method” by Daniel J. Jarvis. The Internet TESL Journal, VIII: 7, July 2002.


  • “Doing Things with Sentences in the ESL Classroom” by Mumford Simon. The Internet TESL Journal, X:10, October 2004. http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Mumford-Sentences.html
  • Creative Approaches to Sentence Combining by William Strong. TRIP: Theory & Research into Practice. ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), 1985.

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