3-5 Writing Fiction: Big Dreams, Tall Ambition

1. Book Pass (10 minutes):

One way to start a unit is by using a technique called a Book Pass. The purpose of a book pass is to expose kids to as many books as possible in a short amount of time. Since you are starting a new unit, the book pass can expose students to literature that is similar to what they will be writing. In this way, books can be a resource for writers!

2. Writers Notebook:
Do your students keep a writers notebook or a journal? This is a good time to start. Let’s try one for you. Pick a topic and write for a few minutes. Write down everything that comes to mind. Then we are going to try another topic. Share with a neighbor. Now you have some resources for creating fiction.
For ideas about Writers Notebook Topics, just click!

3. Idea that Fiction comes from everyday topics. Share some examples from literature. A great example is Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler
Model how you can take one of your entries and change it into fiction. Take a sticky note and tag your entry that could spart a fiction piece. Now write a separate piece making it fictional. (See p. 21 for How to find ideas for fiction)

4. Question to answer: What stories do you wish you had? Reflect on this.

5. Fiction as building on the art of storytelling. Try retelling the Three Billy Goats Gruff, attending to these elements
  • Begin the story by sweeping the listeners with your eyes as if to say, “Welcome, draw close, for I have a story to tell”.
  • Tell the start of the story in a way that sounds like a famous book or fairy tale. Start with a good lead such as, “Long ago...” or “One day, a little girl...”
  • As you tell the story, make sure your mind is picturing whatever you are telling. You will tell better stories if your mind is painting pictures!

6. Now, try telling your story using a strong storyteller voice.

7. If there's time, we will begin working on character development. Developing My Character

8. Resource for future lessons: Story Mountain