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Robert Munsch's Writer's Block1

Author: Jeanne Pfeifer
Date Created: 2/25/2004 1:58:40 PM PST

Language Arts (English), Reading, Technology

Topic or Unit of Study:
Writing narrative: Author Study incorporating literary devices (onomatopoeia, repetition, exaggeration, personification, role reversal, etc.)

all grade levels

-recognize patterns in multiple stories from the same author (author study)
-identify literary devices
-generate story lines consistent with author's style using literary devices
-show proficiency in various elements in Word which match or enhance the purposes of the writing genre

The teacher will read several books by Robert Munsch. Using a table students will begin to list the elements of these books. Students will add to the chart by reading more book selections of Robert Munsch. They will then respond to a prompt and write in the style of Robert Munsch. Students in small groups will respond to each other's writing, and revise their work. (Responding using Word "comments". Students will use Word to revise. Editing will occur in groups (using Word "tracking". Students will then write a final draft. Students will turn in all of their drafts along with their final product.

Learning Context:
This is the first writing genre of several to be taught this year. Students will learn to work together to respond and edit to each other's work in positive and responsible ways. These skills will be used throughout the year. Students will also become proficient with Word to use throughout the year.

1. Read two Robert Munsch Books: "Show and Tell" and "Something Good".
2 Students will begin to fill in a chart about different aspects of the stories. They may add to the categories (title of book, main character, supporting character, setting, problem , literary devices) or to items under the categories.
3. Pass out other titles of Robert Munsch books (see web page for complete listing of all books). Students in groups of 1-3 read selections.
4. Add to chart. Discussion: What are some of the patterns that you see in his writing?
5. Brainstorm: What might be some other topics that he might write on? Who might be some of the characters?
6. Prompt: Robert Munsch just let us know that he has a writer's block. He would like us to send some proposals to him so he might get over his writer's bock. Can we send him some samples?
7. Write a draft of story in the style of Munsch.
8. Meet with classmates to read your draft and get ideas from them.
9. Make revisions.
10. Meet with classmates to edit your revised draft.
11. Make editing changes.
12. Submit all of your drafts with your final draft on top.

 1. robert Munsch's web page
Many, many resources. Has recording of him reading and telling his own stories. Has examples of students writing to him.

Differentiated Instruction:
There will be mini-lessons and scaffolded lessons to help students:

plot anaysis chart
literary devices chart

Sample Student Products:
Students will work collaboratively & individually. Students will work in groups of 4.

Time Allotment:
6 class periods. 45 Min. per class.

Author's Comments & Reflections:
Instructional Materials:
 1. Table for comparing books
Use as scaffolding to help students see patterns.
 2. Webbing
Webbing to record some trends to help in story construction.

  • The number of computers required is 1 per student.
  • Technology resources:
  • Materials and resources:
    Ideally each student would have a computer, however fewer can be used---set up centers and a rotational system for students.
  • Students Familiarity with Software Tool:
    Students can learn more about Word functions by changing font, increasing the size of some words, using word art (onomotopeia).

  • Links:
     1. Robert Munsch's Web page
    This website has all of his books, audio, sample student work, etc.

CA- California K-12 Academic Content Standards
• Subject English Language Arts
• Grade Grade Four
• Area Reading
• Sub-Strand 3.0Literary Response and Analysis
Students read and respond to a wide variety of significant works of childrens literature. They distinguish between the structural features of the text and the literary terms or elements (e.g., theme, plot, setting, characters). The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.
• Concept Structural Features of Literature
 Standard 3.1Describe the structural differences of various imaginative forms of literature, including fantasies, fables, myths, legends, and fairy tales.
• Concept Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
 Standard 3.5Define figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and identify its use in literary works.
• Area Writing
• Sub-Strand 1.0Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing shows they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing successive versions).
• Concept Organization and Focus
 Standard 1.1Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view based upon purpose, audience, length, and format requirements.
• Concept Evaluation and Revision
 Standard 1.10Edit and revise selected drafts to improve coherence and progression by adding, delet-ing, consolidating, and rearranging text.
• Sub-Strand 2.0Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
• Concept Using the writing strategies of grade four outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
 Standard 2.1Write narratives:
a. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience. b. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience. c. Use concrete sensory details. d. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable.
 Standard 2.2Write responses to literature:
a. Demonstrate an understanding of the literary work. b. Support judgments through references to both the text and prior knowledge.

Munsch Writing Block  

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