Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street Lesson Plan
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
- Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
- chart paper
- writer's notebook for each student
- Post-it Notes
Set Up and Prepare
I start this lesson by discussing with my students that they will be creating a great amount of writing in their writer’s notebooks during the school year. Sometimes writer’s block will occur and they may find it difficult to find a topic to write about. I explain that people who write everyday for a living have the same problem, but they use a variety of different places and strategies to come up with new ideas. I then pose the questions, "Where do you think writers go to get new ideas?" As a class we generate a list on chart paper called "Where Writers Get Ideas." Some common responses include:
- Talk to peers
- Talk with family members
- Other forms of literature
- World events
I explain to the students that I am going to read a book about a girl who has difficulty finding topics to write about. While I read the story the students are asked to write down the different places the main character found inspiration for writing. (My students would have a set of post-it notes to write down their ideas. Later they will put the post-it notes in their writer’s notebook for future reference.) I also ask them to jot down any ideas or topics they can later write about in their writer’s notebooks. As I read, I stop every couple of pages and model my own thinking and ideas for the students.
After reading the story, I have the students turn to the person sitting next to them and discuss what new ideas they have for where writers get their ideas and topics they might want to write about. Next, we add any new ideas to our class chart. I then have the students copy the chart (Where Writers Get Ideas) into the front of their writer’s notebooks. At the back of their notebooks, I have them place the post-it notes with writing ideas so whenever they are stuck they have a place to go for ideas.
Supporting All Learners
Throughout the year, I read aloud many different picture books and novels to my students. I always ask the students to come to the rug armed with post-it notes just in case the story sparks a writing idea. At the end of the read aloud I have the students share with a partner any new ideas they wrote down. My students enjoy discussing their ideas with one another, which also helps create a positive classroom environment. The students then place their new ideas in the back of their notebooks for later use. As a result, I rarely hear, "I have nothing to write about."
Other books that will inspire your students to write:
A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You by Ralph Fletcher
Live Writing: Breathing Life into Your Words by Ralph Fletcher
Amelia's Notebook (Amelia) by Marissa Moss