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Lesson Plan

Write-Talks: Students Discovering Real Writers, Real Audiences, Real Purposes

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 60-minute and two 15-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Amy Alexandra Wilson

Athens, Georgia


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • LCD projector (optional)

  • Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell (Aladdin, 1993)

  • Classroom computer with Internet access

  • Index cards

  • Markers

  • Poster board

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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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Preparation for Session 1

There are two optional activities you can do with students prior to Session 1.

1. Conduct a shared reading of a book or article about a hero and ask students what qualities they admire in that person. A good book to use for this activity is Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell. Encourage students to make text-to-self connections between the admired adult in the book and admirable people in their own lives.

2. Ask students to interview somebody in their life whom they admire. The interview should be centered on the types of writing that the person does to accomplish everyday purposes in her or his life.


Preparation for Session 2

1. Compile a list of the class's questions from Session 1, perhaps including some questions of your own, and copy them on the back of the "Write-Talk" Invitation Letter.

2. Make enough copies of the "Write-Talk" Invitation Letter for each student to receive at least one. You may want to have extra copies on hand in case some students want to invite more than one person to speak to the class.


Preparation for Sessions 3 and 4

1. Two weeks in advance of Session 4: Select people who will share a diverse range of texts from the letters that students have returned. If possible, find at least one person who has composed a digital text (such as a posting on a website). Depending on how many students have returned letters, you may need to also invite additional people. These could include former students, local politicians, community event organizers, youth organization leaders, volunteers in your school's Parent Teacher Organization, local musicians and athletes, or librarians. If you get a large number of positive responses, you may want to schedule more than one "Write-Talk" session.

2. One week in advance or Session 4: Call the people who have agreed to speak and confirm the time and date with them. If possible, arrange to use a computer with an Internet connection and an LCD projector in your classroom.

3. Make enough copies of the Writing in the World handout so that each student has an entry for each speaker.


Preparation for Session 5

1. Bring materials for students to make thank you cards and a poster comparing their different approaches to writing. Alternatively, familiarize yourself with the interactive Venn Diagram and prepare to teach students how to use it. If you choose this latter option, and you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, reserve your school's computer lab.

2. Make copies of the My Own Write-Way Venn Diagram Instructions and the accompanying My Own Write-Way Evaluation Rubric for each student in your class.


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