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Best-of-Smekens Writing Conference:
Writing Remix 2018



Teach Grammar Skills One Mini-Lesson at a Time

Mini-Lesson Planning Guide | PDF | Word

Define conventions as tools and rules for writing

Introduce Calvin Conventions.

Introduce each convention skill explicitly (Day 1)

Connect a convention’s purpose to a visual trigger

Each of these lessons suggests a common toy as a corresponding visual trigger.


Align Conventions within Writing Units

Recognize the essential skills per mode


Teach the Same Grammar Skill Across Multiple Days

Convey the importance of accurate conventions

Notice & Name it. Try it. Apply it.

Mini-Lesson Planning Template
PDF | Word

Prepare mentor text examples for conventions lessons.

Punctuating Dialogue ML SERIES

Remind students that the purpose of all conventions, including punctuation marks, is to aid the reader in understanding the writer’s message.

Early dialogue is put into speech bubbles as seen in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.

Encourage students to weave dialogue into pictorial writing using the Speech Bubbles Template.

Prepositional Phrases ML SERIES

Day 1: Emily Dunbar’s “Preposition Song” Opening lyrics

Another Try-It writing task could include “Prepositional Phrase Scavenger Hunt.”
Use a busy scene like these images from archived Highlights magazines.
(Download as an 11×17 PDF or click each JPEG image.)


Move Toward Mastery of Convention Skills

Try the skill as a writer


Improve Basic Sentence Conventions

Readers Need Spaces
All Pages | Smartboard | PPT | Example | Template

Stretch fragments into sentences

Push for first-draft end marks

Reread to hear punctuation.

Reinforce sentences have 2 parts

Execute a self-edit

30+ Convention Activities & Lesson Resources