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Lesson Plan

The Magic of Three: Techniques for the Writer's Craft

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The Magic of Three: Techniques for the Writer's Craft

Grades 4 – 8
Estimated Time One 30-minute session
Lesson Author

International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



There's something about our English language that lends itself to threes. Putting words and ideas in a group of three can add rhythm and cadence to the sound of the language and add inspiration and passion to the message. Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Not only was this a worthy sentiment, it was also a powerful rhetorical technique. A series of three parallel words, phrases, or clauses is known as a tricolon in literary parlance. In intermediate classrooms, we call it the Magic of Three. Tricolons are easy to read, easy to say, and easy to remember. See what I mean? In this lesson, students will learn how to apply this useful writing technique to make their writing more engaging, fluent, and rhythmical.

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Rog, L.J. (2010). Marvelous minilessons for teaching intermediate writing, grades 4-6. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

This resource offers research on process writing and the writer's craft as well as a range of minilessons for helping students write with more clarity and style.

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Rog, L.J., & Kropp, P. (2006). The write genre. Richmond Hill, ON: Pembroke.

This book contains a theoretical framework and practical teaching ideas for organizing a year's writing program around six key text forms: personal narrative, fictional narrative, informational report, opinion piece, poetry and procedure.

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