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Literary essay mentor texts



Demonstration Lessons Featured at the NNWP's iPods Across the Curriculum Teacher In-service Workshop:

In 2008, thanks to support from the Washoe County School District's Technology Department (headed by NNWP Consultant Joe Elcano), the Northern Nevada Writing Project began hosting a new type of inservice class for teachers. Our iPods Across the Curriculum Course challenged educators to not only establish a classroom iPod, but it also showed them ways that an iPod might inspire excellent and thoughtful writing assignments in any curriculum area.

Between spring of 2008 and spring of 2009, one-hundred specially-invited teachers attended this course and participated as writers, using many of the lessons posted below. In exchange for proposing their own lessons at the end of the class, the specially-invited teachers received a classroom iPod and an iTalk. Further down on this page, you will find some of the lessons this course inspired from its attendees.

Starting in fall of of 2009, the NNWP's iPods Across the Curriculum Course will be offered once annually, and although we won't have the funding to give away iPods any more, we are confident teachers will continue to take the course to learn how a simple piece of technology--the iPod--can bridge the gap between teachers and learners while inspiring students to write about issues and ideas that are important to them.

Dena teaches middle school language arts in Sparks, Nevada. She became a Consultant with the Northern Nevada Writing Project in 2001, and she currently coordinates inservice classes that help teachers utilize 6-trait language better in their classrooms. She is also Page Host at WritingFix's Revision Homepage . You can easily access all of Dena's on-line lessons by visiting her classroom webpage .

Overview: Inspired by Grey Street by the Dave Matthews Band and the song Blue is a Mood by Blu Cantrell, students will explore the role of color in a piece of writing

Overview: Here is a new lesson that Dena is still developing! Both Sara Bareilles' song, Love Song. and Naomi Shihab Nye's wonderful poem, Valentine for Ernest Mann. talk about things you shouldn't ask for from another person. After comparing and contrasting the song with the poem, students write a You Can't Ask for That! poem about an original topic.

Corbett served as Director of the Northern Nevada Writing Project between 2002 and 2007. He currently coordinates the NNWP's Writing Across the Curriculum inservice courses and teacher workshops, and he as acts webmaster for the WritingFix website. You can easily access all of Corbett's on-line lessons by visiting his personal webpage .

Overview: Inspired by Jim Croce's I've Got a Name and two stories from Greek mythology, students plan a poem about being on life's journey and walking down the road of existence.

Overview: Inspired by a Don McLean song (Vincent ) and a Tupac Shakur poem (Starry Night ) that both pay tribute to Van Gogh, student writers research an artist in order to pay a similar tribute.

Overview: Here is a new lesson that Corbett is still developing! After comparing a famous poem--"Richard Cory"--and song by Simon and Garfunkel written about the poem, students create an interpretation that explains why they think Cory kills himself. Students then create three pieces of evidence that--if found by a CSI team--would lead those investigators to interpret the poem the same way.

After enrolling in every one-credit teacher inservice class offered by the NNWP, Lisa finally joined the Northern Nevada Writing Project as a Consultant in 2009 by participating in its five-credit summer institute. Lisa teaches middle school in Cold Springs, Nevada, and we are thrilled that she is now presenting at NNWP inservices instead of just taking them!

Overview: Inspired by Nickelback’s If Today Was Your Last Day, s tudents will vividly share a memory and detail the importance of the loved one in their life.

Overview: Here is a new lesson that Lisa is just developing! Inspired by James Keelaghan's song, Cold Missouri Waters, students will identify the main message and story; they will use a note-taking strategy and create a "found poem." They will then apply this strategy to an article from a printed mentor text of the teacher's choosing.

A full-time high school language arts teacher, Tamara became a Consultant for the Northern Nevada Writing Project in 2006. She is passionate about both literature and music, and she works hard to show her students how the two connect. Tamara also coordinates the NNWP's Literature Excerpts as Mentor Text inservice class.

Overview: Students rewrite a song's lyrics--John Mellencamp's Pink Houses --incorporating conflicts from literature they are reading, history they are studying, or conflicts an original character they create might be having.

After a hiatus from teaching to raise two wonderful children, Amie returned to the classroom in 2007 and immediately became a Consultant for the Northern Nevada Writing Project . Amie also serves as Page Host for WritingFix's Creative Publishing Page . and she Coordinates the NNWP's annual Chapter Books as Mentor Texts inservice class.

Overview: After comparing Gone by Switchfoot to a famous "old" poem, students will create their own song or poem about their philosophy of life.

Overview: Inspired by Nickelback's If Today Was Your last Day. students write a polished list that details the things each student would like to experience in their lives.

Barbara became a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant in 2006. She is a Nationally Board Certified teacher who artfully helps reluctant middle school students become better readers and writers in Sparks, Nevada. Barbara keeps a portfolio of her online lessons here at WritingFix, and she loves to enroll in other NNWP Consultants' classes.

Overview: inspired by two songs--"Over the Rainbow" and "Color Me Blind"--students create an original color poem, then they craft a "layered collage" that represents the color they have written about.

Overview: inspired by Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway," students create a personal essay and a People Magazine cover dedicated to their strengths and dreams for the upcoming school year.

Yvette is a both science teacher and literacy trainer who became a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant in 2008. Working for Nevada's Northwest Professional Development Program, she coordinates and facilitates trainings for Instructional Coaches. She is an admitted "NPR addict," which explains her passion for using their podcasts in her i-Pod presentations.

Overview: Inspired by episodes of the “This I Believe” and “Science Friday” podcasts, students will write a "This I Believe" essay about a current scientific issue, which can be published on a classroom iPod or webpage.

this i believe Essays.
a Social Studies R.A.F.T. Assignment

this i believe Essays.
a Language Arts R.A.F.T. Assignment

Softly spoken and amazingly creative, Jamie became a Northern Nevada Writing Project Consultant in 2007 after participating in its five-credit summer institute. Not only does Jamie, a high school teacher, keep a personal portfolio of online lessons here at WritingFix, but she also co-hosts our Pre-Writing Homepage .

Overview: Jack Johnson's Inaudible Melodies creates an interesting paradox of how society presents itself versus how society really behaves. Students will create a paradox of their own that they feel describes the difference between perception and reality. Students will then turn their paradox into an extended poem, using the song as a model for their own writing.

Karen joined the Northern Nevada Writing Project as a Consultant in 1985 when she was teaching kindergarten. Before retiring twenty years later, she served as Washoe County School District's kindergarten coordinator as well as the head instructor for the NNWP's Summer Open Institute. Karen also hosts WritingFix's Alphabet Books Across the Curriculum Resource Page .

Overview: Inspired by Tom T. Hall's song, I Love, as well as Eloise Greenfield's poem, Honey, I Love. students will create a poem/song about things they love.

Overview: inspired by a song from Carly Patterson, students create a personal essay explaining events that shaped them.

After enrolling in every one-credit teacher inservice class offered by the NNWP, Temoca finally joined the Northern Nevada Writing Project as a Consultant in 2009 by participating in its five-credit summer institute. Temoca teaches middle school in Sparks, Nevada, and we are thrilled that she is now presenting at NNWP inservices instead of just taking them!

Overview: Using the song Live Like You Were Dying from the soundtrack for The Bucket List as a model, students will take a look at their values and the things they would like to accomplish in their lives before they run out of time. They will use their writing skills to create their own unique "bucket list," taking this piece of work through the entire writing process.

Former NNWP Co-Director and always-amazing Kindergarten teacher, Jodie has been an active Consultant for the Northern Nevada Writing Project since 1990. In 2008, Jodie coordinated the creation of the NNWP's Six by Six Traits Guide for Kindergarten and First-Grade Teachers, whose contents can be perused on WritingFix's Traits in the Primary Grades Homepage .

Overview: For this environmentally-conscious lesson, stu dents will use a song by Jack Johnson to develop ideas about how to “green” up their own classrooms. Students will also learn clever songs written to the tune of old classics that will lead them to brainstorming ideas for reducing, reusing, and recycling in their own classroom.

Campbell, a truly gifted middle school teacher, joined the Northern Nevada Writing Project as a Consultant in 2007. Her commitment to academic standards and student engagement is well known in her school district, and her classroom is observed often as a model classroom. Campbell also hosts WritingFix's Response Homepage .

Overview: Inspired by the moral lessons from Free to Be You and Me. students will compose stories to be shared with elementary school children that teach character traits. They will watch videos and use plot charts to plan and organize their stories. Writers discover their own character by sharing their original stories with little ones!

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