WriterŐs Workshop Mini-Lesson Plan


Lesson Focus: Drafting a Narrative to generate ideas for character detail development.


GLCE: W.Pr.05.02

Literature used:  LillyŐs Purple Plastic Purse by Keven Henkes  (Lesson adapted from Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits by Ruth Culham)


Introduction:  Choose a good descriptive passage from a book with descriptive details.  Have students list the details as you read aloud in a journal or on sticky notes. 


Teaching:  Together discuss different characters and people the students know.  Categorize them: friends, family, school buddies, TV. characters, etc.  Choose a group and discuss the problems they may encounter such as: problems with brothers and sisters, bullies, making new friends, etc.  Read LillyŐs Purple Plastic Purse to students.



Active Involvement:  Discuss LillyŐs problems and how she solved them.  Compare & contrast them to the list they generated above.  Could Lilly have made different choices?  Make a list of the details the author used to bring Lilly to life & how the details made her seem more believable (dialogue, actions & thoughts). 




Applying the Skill or Strategy:  Have students think of a problem a person may have real or imagined.  Draw a picture of the person and write about the personŐs problem.  Pay close attention to the details that make this person real and believable. Have students give you ideas that you organize by thinking aloud for them. Write a couple of sentences, have them help write a couple more, then ask them to add two more using your notes.


Next Day

Have students choose another person from yesterdayŐs list and have them make the same lists as yesterday. Have them write a short story based on the character and the problem.  Have the students share the story and illustrations.