Featuring Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch, this creative writing lesson gives students the chance to turn themselves into the main characters of emotion-packed short stories.
Students will be able to incorporate emotional dialogue into their writing.
Introduction (15 minutes)
- Talk to the class about what emotion is and how we can incorporate it into our writing.
- Ask students to think about stories they've read. Ask students to share some emotions they've seen while reading. Read Stephanie's Ponytail* aloud. As you read, have students predict upcoming events. Remind students that to predict is to make a guess about something that will happen in the future.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Ask the class if they noticed any emotions from Stephanie's Ponytail that could be incorporated into their own stories. Explain that in stories, emotion is often expressed through dialogue. Refer back to how Stephanie spoke when she was proud or angry.
- Give a few minutes for volunteers to share what they noticed.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Give students pencils and lined paper.
- Tell the class that they'll be writing stories that include lots of emotion. Model the storytelling process by going over a few events in your average day, emphasizing how you feel during certain events (e.g. being excited about lunch).
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Have each student write a short story detailing the things he does and the emotions he feels over the course of an average day. Remind them to include appropriate dialogue.
- Ask students to read through their stories and fix any mistakes. Then, have each student exchange his story with a partner.
- Distribute sticky notes to students, and have them use the notes to jot down any mistakes they see in their partners' stories.
- Ask students to stick their notes onto their partners' papers before returning them.
- Enrichment: Students who complete their writing assignment early can be asked to draw corresponding illustrations for the main events in their stories.
- Support: Struggling students can be asked to draw illustrations showing their daily emotions instead of writing them out.
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Observe the class as they work, and keep an eye out for students who seem to be struggling.
- Collect students' stories at the end of the exercise. Go over them later to gauge student understanding of the lesson content.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Use a document camera to display stories that you consider exemplary.
- Read portions of these stories aloud.