Lessons to Download

Step by step slide shows that walk you through some of Michael and Sara’s writing clinics housed at the Teachers Pay Teachers site. Use the whole presentation or pick and choose as classroom needs dictate.


GRADES: 5th and up.

Personal Narrative - Memoir Workshop: Updated and Improved!

Personal Narrative - Memoir Workshop: Updated and Improved!

Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook provide a workshop which leads students through writing a personal narrative/memoir from inception through first draft. This lesson highlights Show Don’t Tell details, setting, characterization and strong lead development. This fun and funky PowerPoint presentation will help your kids organize and write a memorable personal narrative. The presentation also includes instructor notes which clarify and anticipate common asked questions. Suitable for grades five and up through high school.

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GRADES: 3rd - 8th

The Summary Narrative: Writing Easy to Assess Short Informational Text

The Summary Narrative: Writing Easy to Assess Short Informational Text

This lesson will enable students to look at a subject and write a simple narrative using accurate details and then sorting those details into provided categories that they can then condense into a summary poem by choosing the most important words.

Just about any event in history, current event, or math or science topic can be summarized in this way. This lesson works great in LA or any content area. If you are not an LA teacher, but a teacher of social studies, math, or science, you too can be a writing instructor using this lesson.

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GRADES: 4th and up.

Fearless Public Speaking

Fearless Public Speaking

Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook lead your class through fun and effective exercises to improve and assess their oral presentation skills. This fun and funky PowerPoint lesson comes with teacher notes anticipating the most common questions posed during the lesson.

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GRADES: 2nd - 5th

Harnessing Rhyme

Harnessing Rhyme

Don’t let rhyme boss your poem around!

Sara and Michael present a lesson which helps steer students away from those rhyming word group poems.

Strategies to use rhyme as a tool – not a crutch.

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GRADES: Kindergarten - 3rd

Reread! Refrain! Writing for Real, Poetry as Informational Text

Reread! Refrain! Writing for Real, Poetry as Informational Text

With fun photos, animation and lively text, this lesson shows student writers how poetry can be written from real details. The first slides give you an opportunity to reteach the prefix RE as the students are introduced to the word, refrain. Then Sara Holbrook invites the students to read one of her refrain poems with her (you) and allows you to also offer an insight into the point of view of the poem and point out how the author uses punctuation to convey meaning in the poem. In the first writing exercise, students will be introduced to a mentor text, a refrain poem about parrots. Then they are invited to write a poem with the class, on their own or with a partner using the parrot poem as mentor text. In the second writing exercise, the stanzas consist of accurate details from a picture (a noun and an action verb) and a three syllable refrain. This is broken down for the students so; again, they will be able to use this poem as mentor text.

Have fun with informational poetry!

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GRADES: 4th - 8th

Compare and Contrast - A Snapshot Writing Lesson

Compare and Contrast - A Snapshot Writing Lesson

Fun and engaging lesson in the use of compare and contrast. Great building block instruction in preparation for writing, reading and critiquing informational text. Bright graphics and crisp photos lead the students step by step through the writing process. Designated for middle school but scaffolds up and down to the students sophistication.

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GRADES: 4th -10th

List Poems - An Exercise in Pre-Writing and Revision

List Poems - An Exercise in Pre-Writing and Revision

Michael and Sara walk your students through the creation of a quick write list poem from inception, prioritizing of information, revision and publishing (oral presentation).

Not solely for the Language Arts teacher – content area instructors will find this lesson useful as formative assessment as the students evidence their understanding in real time as they write about their studies.

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GRADES: 4th - 9th

Point of View - If I Were a...

Point of View - If I Were a...

Sara and Michael walk your students through a lesson in perspective. Students practice seeing the world through another’s eyes in this quick write engagement strategy.

Students will research, write, edit and publish (through oral presentation) from others perspectives.

Great for content area teachers looking to ramp up interest and assess understanding of a lesson.

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GRADES: 5th and up.

Reading an Image

Reading an Image

Michael and Sara lead your students though the composition of a prepositional phrase poem by examining an image.

Students close read an image attaching appropriate prepositional phrases examining setting and intent.

This lesson instills and enforces understanding of propositional phrases as well as providing a framework for closer inspection of visual images.

Great for writing across the curriculum, especially in humanities, social studies and science where high impact images abound.

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GRADES: 6th and up.

Pre-Write to Get it Right - a Four Square Strategy

Pre-Write to Get it Right - a Four Square Strategy

Michael and Sara lead your students through a pre-write strategy aimed at organizing an academic paper.

Students research, gather and arrange their information in a graphic organizer in order to aid them in discovering their thesis.

Students work from the facts first allowing their research to help them determine their content.

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GRADES: 2nd - 5th

Which Way to Healthy? An Exercise in Mentor Text

Which Way to Healthy? An Exercise in Mentor Text

Sara and Michael lead students through a re-write based on a mentor text.

Students examine pattern and learn how structure can be transferred between different subject matters.

A great building block toward academic writing.

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GRADES: 3rd - 6th

Like You - Like Me - SIMILE

Like You - Like Me - SIMILE

Sara and Michael lead a writing clinic that will instill an understanding of simile (while avoiding cliche!)

Students will read and identify similes, then write about themselves using simile and finally write about their studies using simile.

A great way to introduce or reinforce a deeper understanding of comparison and its use in writing.

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GRADES: 6th - 9th

Stop Drop and Write - Cape Coast and the Triangle Slave Trade

Stop Drop and Write - Cape Coast and the Triangle Slave Trade

A Heads Up project-able product takes a visual tour of Cape Coast – one of the West African ports where slaves were exported to the new world through the “Door of No Return.”

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GRADES: 4th - 8th

By Definition - A Heads Up Book by Sara Holbrook - Projectible Book

By Definition - A Heads Up Book by Sara Holbrook - Projectible Book

Here is Sara Holbrook’s award winning collection of poems defining various vocabulary words (first published by Boyd’s Mills Press) reissued as a Head’s Up and project-able product with a few extras thrown in.

The idea behind Heads Up is to get students’ eyes up and out of the books and looking at the projected work where you can see and encourage their engagement.

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GRADES: 6th and up.

Well Defined - Vocabulary in Rhyme - A Heads Up Book by Michael Salinger - Projectible Book

Well Defined - Vocabulary in Rhyme - A Heads Up Book by Michael Salinger - Projectible Book

Michael Salinger’s award winning collection of humorous poems defining SAT level vocabulary words in a project-able format.

“The personifications are witty and evocative, and the vocabulary is choice enough that the exploration will be intriguing to veteran users and novices alike.”
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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GRADES: Not Grade Specific

Poetry: Snapshot Writing to Improve Literacy and Cross-Content Areas - Free overview

Poetry: Snapshot Writing to Improve Literacy and Cross-Content Areas - Free overview

Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger link poetry instruction to the Common Core Standards, beyond [RL.3.5][RL.4.5][RL.5.5],and [RL.6.5]. This presentation is an overview of forthcoming writing lessons combining poetry with content area comprehension and the standards for Reading Literature and Informational Text, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Language. This presentation is for your administrators who may be thinking that poetry is just a unit to be taught after all the important work is finished. Or maybe it is for your colleagues who are in need of a reminder of the benefits of the precise and concise language of poetry. Or maybe it is just for you because you just needed a little dose of poetry today. In the spirit of “show don’t tell,” we have created this Powerpoint to illustrate the fun nature and rich graphics we use in our lessons.

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GRADES: Not Grade Specific

Co-Composing - The Missing Step in Writing Instruction - Free Overview

Co-Composing - The Missing Step in Writing Instruction - Free Overview

Quick overview of Michael and Sara’s lesson and writing process.

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GRADES: 6th and up

Learn it - Know it - Sell it Persuasive Writing Through Infomercial

Learn it - Know it - Sell it   Persuasive Writing Through Infomercial

Step by step guide to creating an infomercial fun and engaging. Great way to introduce or reaffirm a lesson in persuasive writing while incorporating content area info. Sara and Michael walk you and your class through this lesson from introduction to first draft. A great way to encourage close reading or re-reading of text and provide formative assessment in a surprisingly fun format. A great break from five paragraph essays or fill in the blank worksheets. Super for all subjects and the finished product encourages speaking and listening. You can’t go wrong – check it out today!

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GRADES: 5th-9th

Alphabetically Speaking: We're Talkin' Poetry

Alphabetically Speaking: We're Talkin' Poetry

Fun resource for middle schoolers practicing English language speaking or to just enjoy in your classroom. One poem for each sound in the alphabet, enough poems to spread out (one a week) for the entire school year. These are not baby poems, but poems that invite re-reading and reading aloud.

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Testimonials

“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...