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Brent Bernard and Great Aunt Nellie watched with wild wonder at the wide window as the beautiful birds began to bite into the bountiful birdseed. Then as Brent Bernard gladly gazed through the glistening glass, he gasped, "Gee, Great Aunt Nellie, why aren't any golden goldfinches going to the goodies?"

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Alliteration Lesson Plan
SUBJECT: Language Arts- Alliteration


  • 3rd grade-Writing 3.9 d) Include descriptive details that elaborate the central idea.
  • 4th grade-Writing 4.7 e) Utilize elements of style, including word choice and sentence variation. 4.8 f) Incorporate adjectives and adverbs.
  • 5th grade-Writing 5.8 d) Use precise and descriptive vocabulary to create tone and voice. Reading 5.5 e) Describe how an author’s choice of vocabulary and style contributes to the quality and enjoyment of selections.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This lesson teaches the student how to write with alliteration, repeating the same letter sound at the beginning of two or more words in a sentence. It also is a review of adjectives and adverbs.

    OBJECTIVE: The student will:
    Be able to understand what alliteration means.
    Will be able to write a sentence repeating the same letter sound at the beginning of most words in a sentence.
    Will use many adjectives, adverbs and vivid verbs to lengthen the alliteration.
    Use the dictionary as a resource to his writing.

    MATERIALS NEEDED: Thank You for the Thistle, or children's book with alliteration, by Dorie Thurston found at www.doriebooks.com, blank white paper, and dictionaries.

    LESSON PLAN: Explain to the class that you are going to read a story that uses a certain style of writing called alliteration. Explain that alliteration means that the same letter sound will be repeated at the beginning of several words in a sentence.

    Read Thank-You for the Thistle to the class telling them to listen to the letter sounds they hear at the beginning of each word. Read a short selection and ask which letter sound they hear being repeated.

    After reading the story, tell the class that they are going to write a sentence with alliteration as a group. Put up the word “cat” on the board and ask the students to think of an adjective that begins with the “k” sound. Something that describes the cat that begins with a “c “or “k”, but not “ch” letter combination because it does not have the “k” sound. (Crazy, cool, calico, cute) Then ask them to think of a verb that begins with the “k” sound. What does the cat do? (Caught, climbed, crawled) Now how did the cat do it? Think of an adverb that begins with the letter sound “k.” (Carefully, carelessly, cautiously) Where did he do it or what did he catch? (on the couch, car, carpet)(a cricket, critter) Continue until a nice sentence is written on the board. "The calico cat cautiously climbed onto the cozy couch." "The crazy cat carelessly climbed up the colorful curtains to catch a creepy critter." Pick another subject, such as an animal, (dog works well) and write another sentence together.

    Have them write sentences on their own and then share them with the class. They may use dictionaries for this exercise. Tell them to watch out for certain letter combinations that do not make the same sound such as the “kn” combination for the “k” sound or “th” combination for the “t” sound.

    ASSESSMENT: Have the class write an alphabet book as a group. Each student will draw a large letter that you assign them, write a sentence using that letter, and draw a picture depicting that sentence. They may use dictionaries to help them think of words since all the words beginning with the same letter are categorized together. Put all of their papers together as an alphabet book. They may also take turns reading their sentences to Kindergarteners and First Graders.

    Four worksheets come with the book:
    1. Add an alliterated Adjective
    2. Add an alliterated Adverb
    3. Underline the Very Vivid Verbs
    4. Thinking Thesaurus chart to increase the use of vivid verbs

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    To learn more about the book, Thank You for the Thistle, a children's book with alliteration click here.

    Lesson Plan on Writing with Vivid Verbs
    SUBJECT: Language Arts - Using Very Vivid Verbs

    Click to get a printable copy of the worksheet:
    Worksheet - opens to a new window - close to return

    GRADE SOL’s:
  • 3rd grade Reading 3.7 d) Use dictionary, glossary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and other reference books, including online reference materials. Writing 3.9 d) Include descriptive details that elaborate the central idea
  • 4th grade Reading 4.3 d) Use word-reference materials, including the glossary, dictionary, and thesaurus. Writing 4.7 e) Utilize elements of style, including word choice and sentence variation. 4.8 f) Incorporate adjectives and adverbs
  • 5th grade Reading 5.4 c) Use dictionary, glossary, thesaurus, and other word-reference materials. Writing 5.8 d) Use precise and descriptive vocabulary to create tone and voice

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This lesson will encourage students to use more vivid verbs, verbs that give a very clear picture of the action taken place, and discourage the usage of “is” and “was.”

    OBJECTIVE: The student will:
    Know the definition of a vivid verb.
    Be able to find vivid verbs in literature.
    Use vivid verbs in their creative writing assignments.
    Use the thesaurus that they have created as an aid in writing.

    MATERIALS NEEDED: Thank You for the Thistle, a children's book with many vivid verbs, by Dorie Thurston and worksheet called Thinking Thesaurus found at www.doriebooks.com.

    LESSON PLAN: Hand out the “Thinking Thesaurus” worksheet to the class. Explain to them that at the top of the page are some common verbs used in writing. They do not give a clear mental picture of exactly how an action took place. Ask the students to listen to the vivid verbs used in the story, Thank You for the Thistle and write them down under the common verb they see on the worksheet.
    Write the sentence “The dog went down the street.” on the board. Ask the students to rewrite this sentence with a more vivid verb. Call on students to read their sentences to the class and see how each student painted an entirely different picture. (The dog dashed down the street.)

    ASSESSMENT: Copy one or two pages from the book and have them underline the vivid verbs. Have students write a story about Happy, the clown, who could not just walk in a parade he …… Have them use the vivid verbs from their “Thinking Thesaurus” to tell several different ways the clown went down the street.

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    Here is a letter from a student teacher who used Thank You for the Thistle in her classroom:

    Hello Dorie,

    Thank you! The students loved your book! We read it out loud. They picked the alliteration out in your story. Then they had a blast writing some alliteration of their own. For the regular academic class, I had them write 5 sentences containing alliteration. The sentences did not have to be connected to one another in meaning. For the Pre-AP class, I had them write a paragraph using alliteration with ideas that were connected much like your story. They were quite creative with it!

    My professor enjoyed the lesson and asked me to incorporate an expansion of vocabulary during the lesson. She loved all the nice words you had mixed into the story. [bountiful, dutifully, savored, enthralled, bungalow, brimful, etc.] The students helped select the words. Then I assigned each word to a specific student who looked it up in the dictionary and shared the definition. They loved that as much as reading the story. East Texas students now know the definition for a bungalow. :)

    The students loved the whole lesson. As mentioned, I took a bird feeder and regular mixed bird seed and a sock with thistle. I did a compare/contrast between the two types of seed. We talked about cost, feeders to hold the seed (cost), and the size of the seed. We talked about goldfinches being picky eaters like some students we know. ;) I had pictures in my PowerPoint of the different birds mentioned in your book, the thistle plant, and the different types of bird feeders. The students were able to see and touch the two different type of seeds also.

    It was a great lesson, and I received a great score from my professor. :) The bird feeders are to be my 'going away present' for the students. My last day with them will be April 10th. I will continue to be on their campus as a substitute teacher, but not in their classroom every day. This broke their hearts. :) It has been a great semester, and your book gave the perfect end to my student teacher observations.

    Sincerely, Rhonda

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