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Instructional Design Project

Lori L. Rook

LT 716



Problem Identification:

An instructional need for my 5th graders is writing a three to five paragraph essay/story in response to a prompt. Fifth grade students will be taking a state writing prompt later in the school year that is scored through a national norm referenced process. Writing an organized, coherent essay/story of this length to an unknown prompt is a challenge. The skills of writing clearly is an on going need in many different areas of life also.


Initial Goals:

1.    Students will write daily in their Writer’s Notebook.

2.    Students will write a paragraph that includes and introductory/topic sentence, three to five supporting details, and a summary sentence.

3.    Students will write an interesting/attention-getting lead sentence.

4.    Students will utilize the 6+1 traits in their writing with special emphasis on organization and ideas.

5.    Students will use correct conventions in their writing.

6.      Students will write an essay, at least three paragraphs in length, which includes an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion in response to a given prompt.


Learner Analysis:

     Primary Audience:

§       •Fifth grade students

     General Learner Characteristics:

§       •Age: 10-11 years old

§       •Gender: 45% girls, 55% boys

§       •Education: Completed grade 4

     Entry Characteristics and Prior Experience:

§       Most are familiar with basic conventions of capitalization and ending punctuation.

§       Most are able to write a complete sentence.

§       Many are able to write a single paragraph consisting of an introductory paragraph, detail sentences, and a summary sentence after review.

§       Less than one half of the students have written daily on topics of their own choice in a journal or Writer’s Notebook.

§       Very few students write legibly and quickly in cursive.


Common Errors Made by Novice Learners:

§       Writing run-on sentences when composing more than one paragraph.

§       Lack of focus on the main topic of the prompt.

§       Maintaining an organizational structure.

§       Failure to write an attention-grabbing lead sentence/paragraph.


Learning Styles:

Š      Individual learning styles include visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners.

Contextual Analysis:

     Students will respond the writing prompt in their classroom surrounded by their classmates. They write in a response booklet in a formal setting with no bathroom breaks, etc. unless an emergency occurs. Efforts are made throughout the year to administer similar prompts to accustom the students to the process. The school district requires three other formal prompts. Only one is scored outside of the District.


Task or Procedural Analysis:

     Writing a Lead

                                                     Š     Identify a lead

1.  Locate the lead sentence or paragraph at the beginning of their novel.

a.  Students open novel to the first page of chapter one. Find and read the first paragraph aloud to table partners. Students at each table select one person to read their lead aloud to the class.

2.  Students record in their writer’s notebook that a lead is:

a.  the beginning sentences of a story

b.  the first impression a reader receives about a story

c.  often the way a writer draws readers in and convinces them to read more

                                                     Š     Identify types of leads by listening to different leads from student’s novels.

1.  Students record in the mini lesson section of their writer’s notebook the types of leads during class discussion.

a.  Picture or unusual image

b.  Action- an event or some kind of action by a character

c.  Dialogue—a character thinking or talking

d.  Question

e.  Interesting Fact

2.  Each student re-reads the lead from his/her novel and identifies the type. At each table the group listens again to each lead and agrees upon the type of lead.

                                                     Š     Students read different leads printed on a worksheet or projected on the front screen and select the lead that would most make them want to read more.

1.  Examples of E.B. White’s lead experiments for Charlotte’s Web (worksheet)

2.  Examples of anonymous student leads(scanned and projected on the screen)

                                                     Š     Revise boring leads into attention-grabbing leads

1.  Students draw a boring lead from the basket and revise it by using one of the lead types. Students read the new leads to their table and volunteers share with the rest of the class.

                                                     Š     Write original leads

1.   From a synopsis of a story, students write the five different leads for it—one lead idea for each type.

a.  Synopsis- On a rainy day, two boys are walking home form school when they see a hot air balloon come crashing down in the park just ahead of them.

2.  Students select an entry from their Writer’s Notebook and write a new lead for it.





Instructional Objective



Test Question

Sequencing Method

To identify the lead sentence or paragraph in a novel



What is the lead sentence in the following story?

Identifiable prerequisite

To define the 5 common types of leads



What are the five common types of leads?

Identifiable prerequisite

To select a lead that would make someone want to read more



Which of the following leads would make someone want to read more?


To revise boring leads into attention-grabbing leads



Read each lead carefully and revise it using one of the 5 common types of leads.


To write an original lead for own writing



Select a piece of writing from your Writer’s Notebook and write an original lead using one of the 5 common types.



Instructional Strategies:

•Objective 1


The learner will identify the lead sentence or paragraph in a novel.


Initial Presentation


Learners read from a scanned or typed lead paragraph of the current classroom oral reading novel that is displayed on the front screen using the Sympodium. Discuss the purpose of a lead.


Generative Strategy


Learners find the lead sentence or paragraph in their own independent reading novel. Then the students read the lead from their novels to the rest of their table partners. The teacher calls upon at least one student from each table to read their lead.


•Objective 2


The learner will define the 5 common types of leads.


Initial Presentation


Present the name and description of each type of lead followed by an example of each. Highlight the characteristics of each type of lead while the students record notes about the types of leads in their reading journal.


Generative Strategy


Learners again look at the lead paragraph from their novel and identify the specific type of lead. All learners at the table come to a consensus about each lead. Learners then share their lead with the class (when called upon by the teacher). The class then identifies the type of lead.


•Objective 3


When given a list of five leads, the learner will select a lead that would make someone want to read more.





Motivational Strategy


Ask the learners to speculate about how authors write a lead for their novel. Do they suppose the author uses the first attempt or does he or she write more than one?


Initial Presentation


E.B. White tried several different leads for the book Charlotte’s Web. From the list of 6 leads given, the learners select their top three choices and label them in order. Discuss as a class the information that each of the leads provides for the reader. (Possible responses: description of Wilbur; a description of the barn, setting; dialogue that hints at the story’s problem; a description of Charlotte).

•Leads are from The Horn Book, October 1982 and the Annotated Charlotte’s Web by Peter Neumeyer, HarperCollins, 1993.


Generative Strategy


Read aloud White’s final choice directly from the book, Charlotte’s Web. Learners share why they think White selected that lead.


•Objective 4


The learner will revise boring leads into attention-grabbing leads.


Motivational Strategy

Draw from a basket of already prepared “boring” leads, one lead sentence and read it to the class of learners. Ask the learners to think about how they would change the lead to make it more interesting so the reader would want to read more. Learners share their ideas when called upon while the teacher records their thoughts on the front screen using the Sympodium (chart paper could also be used).


Initial Presentation


Each learner draws an example from the basket of “boring” leads and rewrites it in the Writer’s Notebook using one of the techniques from a previous lesson. Learners share their changes with their table partners.


Generative Strategy


Each learner writes a “boring” lead of their own and trades it with someone else in the room. Then each learner revises the lead into an attention-grabbing lead and writes it in their notebook.


•Objective 5


The learner will write an original lead for own writing.


Initial Presentation


Learners review the five types of leads before skimming through their Writer’s Notebook entries for the past week. Each learner selects one entry to use.


Generative Strategy


The learner writes five leads for the entry (one of each type) and then selects the one that, in his/her judgment, best grabs the attention of a reader.



Delivery Methods:

The instructional delivery methods I have chosen are a combination of group presentations and small group activities. During a group presentation of the types of leads, for example, the students all receive the same information and take notes in their journals. During this time, the instructor is not just standing in front of the room lecturing, but moving constantly about the room, checking and monitoring progress. The instructor runs the presentation on the Sympodium from anywhere in the classroom using the wireless Airport tool. Students see, hear and write the information. For students with special needs or an IEP, the information is printed. The small group activities at the tables allow students to process the information and synthesize the content. The students share, discuss and problem solve together. The knowledge about leads from the large group presentation is applied and the learners develop social skills by working with others. The instructor monitors understanding while circulating around the room and eavesdropping on the conversations. Students are active as they discuss and then share their conclusions with the entire class.



LCD Projection System/Sympodium/Wireless Airport— This system allows for presentations in a large, visual, and interactive format. The Airport permits the instructor to move around the room, control the presentation, and add to it by writing upon the Airport. These writings are immediately seen on the screen.


Novels— Using novels the students are reading to check understanding of the different types of leads is more interesting and engaging for the students because it applies immediately to them. The novels the students select are also “just right” books for them so the leads will be readable. An added benefit is that students may find other books they want to read after hearing and discussing the leads.


Worksheet— The worksheet of examples of E.B. White’s allows the students to read at their own pace and make decisions about their top choices of his leads. Then the students are able to share and discuss them with other members of their table. This would be difficult to do if the leads were only displayed on the screen.


Instructional Materials:


These are screen shots of the large group presentation that would be displayed with the LCD Projector and Sympodium using Smart Notebook Software for a lesson.





















Assessment Tool--Rubric






Working with others

Almost always listens to and shares with others in the group.

Usually listens to and shares with others in the group.

Sometimes listens to and shares with others in the group.

Rarely listens to and shares with others in the group.

Focus on the task

Consistently stays focused on the task and what needs to be done.

Focuses on the task and what needs to be done most of the time.

Focuses on the task and what needs to be done some of the time. Other group members must sometimes remind or prod this person.

Rarely on task. Lets others do the work.

Location of a lead

Consistently locates the lead at the beginning of a story.



Cannot locate the lead

Identification of a lead

Identifies all 5 types of leads correctly.

Identifies 4 of 5 types of leads correctly.

Identifies 3 of 5 types of leads correctly.

Identifies 2 or few types of leads correctly








Formative Evaluation Strategy:

Formative evaluation is an important part of the instructional design process and should be performed early and often enough to identify weaknesses and needs. Modifications can then be made to meet the requirements of students. The group of children, their writing experiences from previous years, and current progress can change the length and detail of the lesson design.


•Purpose— Determine student understanding of the 5 types of leads and the ability to write them.


•Audience-the classroom teacher


•Issues-After receiving instruction, can the students locate, identify, and write the type of lead?


•Resources- 5th grade students, Writer’s Notebooks, sticky notepads to score writing traits, mini-white boards and markers, story beginnings, sample writing prompts.


•Evidence- The sample size is 24 5th grade classroom students. The objectivity of the observations and ratings is subjective, but through training workshops and experience, the instructor gains more knowledge and ability in the ratings process. The instructor controls the time and place of the gathering of information.


•Data-Gathering Techniques-

     --observations of students’ performance and participation during classroom and group discussions

     --ratings of Writer’s Notebook entries specifically in the area of attention grabbing leads under the Organization Trait of the 6+1 Traits of Writing. 1=Not Yet, 2=Emerging, 3=Developing, 4=Maturing, 5=Strong

Writing a strong attention grabbing lead is the focus.



     --quick surveys using mini-white boards-students are given examples of different types of leads orally and asked to identify the lead and write it on their mini-white board. The boards are held up at a signal from the instructor. By quickly scanning the student responses, the instructor can identify gaps in knowledge.

     --practice prompts are given to students periodically with the following directions- “Revise the story beginning in order to catch your reader’s attention. Then continue the story.

Beginning #1- Hi. My name is Kate. This is a story about the time I went to the zoo.

Beginning #2- This is a story about the time I built a robot in my basement.

Beginning #3- I will tell you about my adventure swimming at the lake.


•Analysis- The Writer’s Notebook ratings and practice prompts are sorted based on the scoring. Students receiving 4 and 5 are considered to be doing well. Students receiving 2 or 1 are in need of more one-on-one assistance. These students will require more practice and different instructional strategies.


•Reporting- The primary person to whom the results are reported, is the classroom instructor. He or she makes use of the data and revises or adds to the lessons accordingly. If major gaps appear in a student’s ability, the teacher may discuss these gaps with colleagues, the building writing committee representative, or the building principal in order to find other instructional strategies.


Summative Evaluation Strategy

The State Writing Prompt is given during the 5th grade year in late February. It is created and scored by Stanford Achievement of Harcourt, Inc. The analytic scores for each student are returned to the teacher, building principal, assistant superintendent, district superintendent, school board, and parents. Students are scored in the following areas: ideas and development, organization, unity, and coherence, word choice, sentences and paragraphs, grammar and usage, and writing mechanics. The scores are collected and analyzed by individual student, grade level, and school. The data is compared yearly. At the district level, students can be monitored at various levels when the writing prompt is given again at eighth and eleventh grades. The individual instructors can analyze the data by student or by the area scored. An engaging, attention-grabbing lead would fall under the area of organization.


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