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Secrets of a Super Story (grades 2-5)

Instructional Objectives

July 4th Jinx coverStudents will be able to

- Define pen name and pseudonym and identify at least one author who uses a pen name.
- List and describe the five stages of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing (proofreading), and publishing.
Identify revising as the most time-consuming and labor-intensive stage
and the most important!
- Compare and contrast the writing process of a professional author with their own writing process.
- Explain how authors, illustrators, editors, designers, and copy editors collaborate to produce a finished book.
- (Extra credit) Define manuscript, dummy, and critique.

Suggested follow-up activity: Individually or in a group, students brainstorm ideas for a new Milo & Jazz book using the graphic organizer below. Ask them to choose their favorite idea, come up with a title, and draw the cover.

Plot  (what?)

Character  (who?)

Setting  (where?)

Example: haunted house is really haunted


Example: pet pig

Example: sleepaway camp







"I loved the mysterious entrance, and the humor.  It was so beneficial to our kids to see the writing process in action. Your presentation was very well thought out and gave clear, real life examples of every step of the writing process." —Woodbrook Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

"I loved the focus on the idea that writing is never perfect the first try."Livingston Avenue School, Cranford, NJ

"The informational content was terrific.  I think the kids really gained a new appreciation for the amount of work that goes into the writing process."Stone-Robinson Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

"Since your visit our library's Milo & Jazz mysteries have been the most circulated items in our collection. I have something like 3 of each title and they are NEVER in the library. BRAVO!"
Stone-Robinson Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

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Mara Rockliff, children's writer My booksMeHome