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Writing Lesson Inspired by Perspective

Written by Scott Nelson

Lesson: Nothing but the Motives: An exploration of perpective and cause and effect in Nothing but the Truth.

Trait Focus:

 Idea Development: Students will choose interesting, high quality details to write with when: describing important characters or people, setting, places, objects or things. I also plan to have students use a thoughtful balance of showing and telling skills.


Mentor Text:

A war has been waged in the Harrison School District. Nothing but the Truth explores a confrontation between a student and a teacher in the classroom and focuses on how the situation creates a ripple effect across the nation. This mentor text will make students understand perspectives that make up the education system.


Student Teacher Models:

Before approaching this lesson, ask the students about a quarrel that they have had with a teacher or about one they witnessed. Have the students explain, each point of view and why the quarrel occurred.

Next use a read aloud-think aloud strategy and distribute the following quotes to the class:

“Everyone has there 15 minutes of fame”

“It’s not about the truth, but the perception of the truth.”

“Sometimes you got to go along to get along”

Pair students together in groups of five and mix the groups with mixed ability levels. Assign students who have higher level thinking skills with the task of leading group discussion. Lower level thinking students will take notes on the discussion and will write a “We think” statement summarizing what the groups take on what the meaning of the quote is.


Graphic and Advanced Organizers:

Students will fill in the jigsaw graphic organizer on page 40 of the NNWP’s Going Deep with the 6 traits language book. In this organizer the student will fill in the names of each of the characters listed below and connect the jigsaw pieces based on who the character is in regular contact with.


Students Have Choice

Students will then choose three characters from their Jigsaw graphic organizer to focus on for their persuasive writing essay product. The following characters will be included:

Phil Malloy-Student                           Miss Narwin-Teacher           Mr.Malloy- Parent

Dr. Palleni- Ass. Principal                 Dr. Doane-Principal         Dr. Seymore-Superintendent

Mr. Duval- Reporter                         Mr. Griffen-Politician                   Jake Barlow-Media

For their assignment they will have to chose the one character out of the listing and explain why they are the victim. The student will take the three characters that they chose and will explain the characters perspective and motives and how they led to the victim’s demise.

Students talk about the Process.

Before the writing begins each member of the chart will have to put a number on a chart. The ones believe that Miss Narwin is the victim and the 10’s believe Philip is the victim. No one can choose the number five. The people closest to the Miss Narwin spectrum can explain in front of the class and the people closest to Philip can explain their perspective. Lastly the middle ground can explain their viewpoints. After discussion, students should have brainstormed some ideas which will be listed on the board favoring either side. They should have enough information for getting started on their essay.

Lastly, students will exchange their papers. They will be required to find three areas where they can incorporate the rule of threes in adding three details to flesh out their writing.   

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Replies to This Discussion

Is it possible to get a copy of the jigsaw graphic organizer?




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