Empowering Writers

November 2016 K-1 Lesson of the Month

How is it going fellow writing teachers? School is off and running! Are you finding it helpful to incorporate writing in your everyday plans? If you have not begun the daily writing lessons throughout your curriculum, let me encourage you to do so. You will see more improvement of skills in all subject areas than in any other resource you have at your fingertips.

November K-1 Lesson of the Month

This is the first K-1 Lesson for the current school year. The lesson involves suspense and the No-Go Vocabulary words themed with a pumpkin/fall topic.


Students will create a class book or a bulletin board display using a fall character of their choice moving according to one of the No-Go Activity Cards. Each class member will draw their character moving in a particular way. An artistic/coloring book pumpkin will be strategically glued atop the drawing, depicting it hiding behind the pumpkin. Students will write (or teacher scribe) a sentence about how their character is moving.

Here’s what you’ll do:

1) Read a fall book to students such as Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz, Where’s the Pumpkin? by Frankie Jones and Fhiona Galloway, Where’s Pumpkin? by Nancy Orlando, or Who’s That? by Kay Winters.

2) After sharing a book with students, have them list as many fall characters as they can. Chart these on the board. (black cat, owl, skeleton, bat, Frankenstein, Dracula, spider, witch, ghost, trick-or-treater, etc.)

3) Next, share the No-Go Activity cards with the students, pointing out that authors use many of these words instead of writing go/went over and over.

4) MODEL one or two sentences matching one of the listed fall characters to one of the No-Go activity cards.


The black cat sashayed across down the dark sidewalk.

The owl flew into the tree.

Frankenstein trudged through the spooky Haunted House.

5) Fan the No-Go cards out and let each child choose one. Have them pick a character from the charted list or one of their own choosing and draw a picture of the character moving according to the No-Go word on the card they picked. Once the pictures are complete, have each child either draw a pumpkin or color one provided by the teacher (large enough to cover their drawn character). Adhere the pumpkin atop their drawn pictures, gluing on the bottom edge only. When the glue dries, the pumpkin should fold down to reveal the picture of their character moving in a “No-Go” way.

6) With the teacher’s assistance, have the students write a sentence on their picture similar to the MODELED SAMPLES. Collect the student’s work and compile in a class book or display on a class bulletin board.