This is a great lesson that goes along with the Harris Burdick book by Chris Van Allsburg. It teaches the concept of mystery writing using a picture prompt from the book. It also includes a story map, grading rubric and a printable for students to use to writing their final draft.
I use this in my own 5th grade classroom and it is always a very fun and engaging unit!
“The Mysteries of Harris Burdick”
Narrative Storybook Writing Assignment
You have reviewed a variety of picture prompts from the story “The Mysteries of Harris
Burdick,” which was written by Chris Van Allsburg.
What to do:
*Choose a photocopied picture from the story to use as the inspiration for your writing.
*Review the “Mystery Elements” sheet and the the “Mystery Writing Rubric.”
*Read all the directions below.
*Use the “Mystery Elements Story Map” to organize your thoughts before you write
your story. Staple your picture prompt you chose to do to your story map.
*Draft your story on white paper. Draw a rough sketch for each page. You will need 10
pages all together (only write on one side of the paper).
*Peer Conference and Teacher Conference to fix all of your mistakes. Make those
changes in your draft. Check for spelling errors, capitalization errors, and run-on
sentences. Read your story to someone to make sure it makes sense to them and you.
*Once you have had your draft okayed, you can begin to make your children’s book.
Use them template to help you, or make it on your own. You will need to illustrate each
page. Make sure one of the pages looks almost identical to the one you chose. The rest
of your art should resemble the same style. Creativity is expected :)
*Please use a pen with black or blue ink and your BEST penmanship.
You will be reading your book for the class, so do your best work! :)