Get Your Writing Tips at the Writing Fix

Hello Readers (and Writers)!  Carla from Comprehension Connection here today to share one of my all time favorite websites, Writing Fix, with you.  I have been using lessons from Writing Fix for almost two years now, and if you have not explored it yet, it is time to check it out!

Writing Fix is a resource site that freely shares ideas, resources, interactive apps to be used for lessons, and teacher tested lesson plans.  It has been in existence since 1999 when the founder, Corbin Harrison, purchased the domain name and began collecting resources other teachers had designed. 

Fast forward to today, and you will find materials that will take you through each year to grade twelve.  If you have favorite literature you enjoy, you can locate writing resources to go with them using the site bibliography that is linked to the resources. It is amazing just how much is included. The preview below is just a snapshot! So many great titles!

I first learned about Writing Fix when I ran a weekly blog link up on my blog called Six Trait Sunday.  Teachers linked up their favorite books and how they used them to model writing traits.  I had just started blogging at that point, so it somewhat fizzled, but it helped me learn the depth of resources available.  If you have a certain type of writing you need to address (persuasive say), you can easily scan through to locate what you need or search the site.  I did this, and although it hopped me over to Google, it gave me a list of 195 links.  A favorite of lesson of mine features the book, My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza.

I used this writing lesson set at Thanksgiving.  Of course, I began the writing assignment with the book of course. I didn't have a copy of the book on hand, so I used this youtube video clip which works well since you can pause and discuss writing examples, and students can better see he pictures as well.  Plus, I think my students truly enjoyed hearing this author read it.

Once you introduce the assignment with the book, Writing Fix offers the full step by step lesson plan and materials you need for each writing stage as well as anchor papers for modeling.  I love that the site gives multiple grade levels of papers too as it provides my students with a "road map" for where their writing needs to go.  I am truly impressed by the growth my students (who are struggling readers) have shown, and I can't help but believe that the repeated modeling and practice connected to strong literature helps the children better understand how to improve their writing and actually enjoy it.  For this plan, you can see a little synopsis below.

Summary of this Lesson's Mentor Text:

In the picture book, My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza, a hungry and naïve fox is surprised to find his dinner knocking at his door. Could this be his lucky day? Unfortunately, an intelligent and somewhat sly pig has other ideas. Using the power of persuasion, and a keenness for trickery, the pig outwits the fox and ultimately ends up clean, fat and happy. The fox, exhausted by the persuasive suggestions of the pig, collapses and is unable to “roast” his guest. A formidable opponent, intelligence clearly wins over stupidity, or an empty stomach in this case.
After the students have analyzed the text, it's time to begin the prewriting stage.  The website includes all of the graphic organizers you need like this one.  Students can work to plan out their papers. Then, the teacher can use the anchor papers to demonstrate where the assignment is heading and what works well. Here is an example of one story.
My Lucky Day! 

by Jaynee, third grader
One day, a hungry spider was about to go get himself dinner. Then he got startled by a knock on the door.
“Hey, hey ladybug, what’s doin?”
The spider thought to himself, “A ladybug? If a ladybug lived here, I would have eaten it already. This must be my lucky day!”
The spider got up and opened the door. The cricket who had knocked tried to run away, but the spider quickly grabbed him and brought him in the house.
Next he said, “Hop in this pot so I can cook you.”
“Ok, ok, ok,” said the cricket, “but first, shouldn’t you give me dinner? I am on the skinny side.”
“You are on the skinny side,” said the spider. So the spider got busy and made cookies, brownies. But he needed a salad so he ran to the store, got a salad, ran back home and made the salad. ”Ok, now hop in this pot so I can eat you.”
“Alright, but shouldn’t you give me a bath? I’m very filthy.”
“You are pretty filthy,” said Mr. Spider. So the spider rushed upstairs, ran the bath, poured some bubbles and threw in a rubber duck. Then he ran downstairs and carried the cricket upstairs into the bath. When the cricket was clean, they went back downstairs and the spider once again said, “Hop in this pot.”
“Ok,” said the cricket, “but…”
“What, what, what?”
“Shouldn’t you massage me first? My skin is very rough.”
“You have a point,” said the spider. So he rubbed and pushed and pounded.
The cricket said, “Just a little to the left, just a little to the right.”
But the spider was no longer there. He had passed out.
The cricket ran home, saying, ”What a dinner! What a bath! What a massage! This must be my lucky day!”
I love hearing my students critique the papers, but it is interesting how spot on they can be. They are able to identify weak hooks and arguments, analyze the sample for word choice, sentence fluency,etc. They can also reread is they find they have a little writer's block.

For the revising stage, this author shared checklists for Voice and Ideas. Handy huh??  For publishing, you can even add your "star" papers to the lesson site

So...what are you waiting for??  Hop on over and see what's all included.  Be sure to check out this tab to see the featured mentor text lessons.  They are my favorite!

The Writing Fix helps students see the Reading-Writing Connection, and it makes writing just plain fun!

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