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Lesson Plan

Color My World: Expanding Meaning Potential through Media

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Color My World: Expanding Meaning Potential through Media

Grades 3 – 6
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

S. Rebecca Leigh

S. Rebecca Leigh

Rochester, Michigan


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson is not about markers over pencils; it is about developing a relationship between students and media and how such nurtured connections can support students' ideas in what they write and how they write it. Through in-class discussions about writing/drawing materials and carefully observing how an illustrator uses media to communicate ideas, students will see how materials can extend knowing. This lesson provides opportunities for students to explore and experience the meaning potential of everyday writing and drawing tools in their own writing. The lesson can (and should be) adapted for older students.

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"Traditional K-12 classrooms are notorious for privileging pencil over other writing tools, especially in the elementary grades.  Instead, we should be pushing for a process-oriented mindset where daily access to drawing/writing media makes it possible to respect process, to value experience."

In this lesson, students examine the work of an illustrator and experiment with writing/drawing materials to discover how different media affect the outcome of a drawing or piece of writing, and help construct meaning.

Further Reading

Leigh, S. Rebecca. "Violent Red, Ogre Green, And Delicious White: Expanding Meaning Potential Though Media." Language Arts 87(4) (2010): 252-262.

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