Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

This story is about a dog that is sent away to Obedience School. The dog writes letters home to his owner explaining how awful the school is. He is a very clever writer and uses a lot of humor. The book has two illustrations for each set of pages. The first illustration is the picture that the dog creates in his home notes to his owner and the other picture is a picture that shows what is actually happening. An example of this is the dining hall. The dog creates a picture that he is being beaten for asking for food and the text pictures shows the dog eating dinner at a fancy restaurant with white table linens.

It's a very funny story that the students will enjoy reading. My students and I looked at key words that the dog used to help create the picture he wanted to convey. Ike, the dog will use words in a sentence that convey a message. When Ike was roaming he wrote Mrs. LaRue and said that he, "suffered horribly as I roam this barren wasteland." I asked my students how does this convey a different message than Ike traveled around town? The first sentence paints a vivid picture. Ike states in one of his postcards to Mrs. LaRue that "life here continues to be a nightmare." Once again this paints a much different picture than saying life is tough. This book will help the students learn how to expand upon their vocabulary to create exciting stories.

Later on, you can have your students issue a report card for Ike. On the report card, the students needed to grade Ike on attitude, patience, working with others, writing skills and loyalty. The students could grade Ike as excellent, very good, good, fair and needs work. The students also need to list Ike's biggest fault and Ike's best quality. The students enjoyed being the teachers. I timed this lesson to coinside with my students' report cards.

Views: 3295

Replies to This Discussion

I have used a similar lesson. Love it! I found a lesson with the same mentor text on writing fix but I was unable to get my hands on Obedience School and used Detective LaRue, Letters from the Investigation. We are using RAFTS and the graphic organizer provided by the lesson on writingfix to develop a strong voice. Our EQ (essential question) is How can we create a strong voice through persuasion for the audience? The organizer did an excellent job helping the students think about using word choice and voice. Students had to take the role as Rocco, the pigeon and write a friendly letter to the police trying to persuade them that Ike was innocent of the crime, chasing Mrs. Hibbin's cats away. I will definitely adapt the organizer as I continue with the persuasive genre unit we are currently covering.
Taking the point-of-view of the teacher to grade a report card for Ike could also be a starting point for developing a grading rubric that students could use to assess their own writing. I like the way Ike is trying to persuade Mrs. LaRue that he is suffering. Perhaps you could extend upon her reactions as she discovers that she is being deceived. Is there an opportunity here to clarify deception vs. persuasion? Is this clarified by the use of pictures in the book?
Out of curiousity, did you create a vocabulary word wall based off the words in the text? You could also use a thesaurus to find different words to use, especially the strong action verbs as a way to work on word choice, especially those juicy words that would help convince an otherwise "indecisive" owner to action :)
Yes, we did create a word wall using several resources found in our room. We also created a poster of persuasive phrases that would help our voice. There was an opportunity for discussing the difference of deception vs. persuasion. The students in each of my writing classes brought it up as we continued to refer back to the story for examples.

Ryan Decasa said:
Out of curiousity, did you create a vocabulary word wall based off the words in the text? You could also use a thesaurus to find different words to use, especially the strong action verbs as a way to work on word choice, especially those juicy words that would help convince an otherwise "indecisive" owner to action :)

RSS

Badge

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Corbett Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service