Relevant Secondary Writing: Varying Sentence Starters

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In this lesson your students will be guided to write about their future as they see it 10-20 years out while learning the importance of adding variety to their sentences. When complete, your students will have the real world opportunity to be published in The Bunk Room, a magazine written entirely by kids.

Lesson Includes:
--Writing Rubric
--Editing Checklist
--Parent Permission Slip for submitting student's work for publication to The Bunk Room
--BONUS Crossword Puzzle, Scavenger Hunt & Word Scramble
----The Bunk Room Magazine, issue #43

Authored by Emily Thorpe, the twice nominated Top Five Finalist for Teacher of The Year in Orange County Public Schools, the 12th largest district in the nation, this companion to every issue of The Bunk Room will bring out even your most reluctant writer. Thorpe has used The Bunk Room successfully in the classroom for years and brings these activities and techniques to The Bunk Room Study Buddy.

Relevant Writing: Varying Sentence Starters
"When students see other kids writing in their own voice, but in a professional format, they see the value of nonfiction writing as being part of a global conversation where their opinions matter. It was easy to get students to write after reading The Bunk Room, because they had a student model written by real kids and not an author from a textbook company pretending to be a kid. But the best part of using The Bunk Room for writing activities was that students were excited by the possibility of being published in a magazine. It gave them a real world purpose for writing," Thorpe said.

Thorpe's experiences with The Bunk Room in the classroom have translated into a huge win for any educator faced with a room full of students wrestling blank pieces of paper.

"Although in the past ten years there has been a bigger push for nonfiction, much of the resources written for students is drab and irrelevant to kids. I liked using The Bunk Room in my classroom because my students often shared the same interests as the writers, or were more willing to take an interest in something new, just because it was written by a peer. My students really gravitated towards the nonfiction about average kids doing exceptional things. Sometimes I would be surprised by the articles that resonated with my students, and I guess that's because as much as we try, only kids get kids," Thorpe said.

Thinking about their future is a subject most writers love exploring! In this activity, kids will read about an elementary student who already has a detailed plan for her future. The Study Buddy will then guide your student through their own plan for the future. Before putting it all together in their own Future Life article, encourage your child to do our short activity to avoid using ā€œIā€ sentence starters. A great addition to classroom bulletin boards or parent scrapbooks, students will enjoy sharing their dreams for the future!

We would like to see their dreams too, so have your kids submit their pieces to The for possible publication in our magazine.

See author Emily Thorpe using The Bunk Room in her classroom at

Also, see more of Emily's products here on TPT at
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 Minutes

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Relevant Secondary Writing: Varying Sentence Starters
Relevant Secondary Writing: Varying Sentence Starters
Relevant Secondary Writing: Varying Sentence Starters
Relevant Secondary Writing: Varying Sentence Starters
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