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Lesson Plan

A Musical Prompt: Postcards From the Concert

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Dustin Dotzler

Dustin Dotzler

Chattanooga, TN


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, music is an inspirational prompt for writing. After listening to a song, students write simple sentences describing the music and their thoughts about the music. Then they use sentence combining to write more interesting and complex sentences. This strategy involves peer collaboration and an opportunity for students to practice manipulating words and sentences to improve their writing. They publish their musical responses using an interactive, online Postcard Creator to send to a family member or friend.

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Postcard Creator: Students can make their very own personalized postcard to send to a friend or family member.

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Saddler, B. (2005). Sentence combining: A sentence-level writing intervention. The Reading Teacher, 58, 468471.

  • Sentence combining is a strategy that teaches young writers sentence-construction skills in an effective, systematic fashion. It involves manipulating or rewriting basic or simple sentences into more syntactically mature or varied forms.

  • Sentence combining helps students write more interesting sentences that sound better to readers. Exercises can be either cued by the teacher to produce a certain sentence combination, or open for students to produce any number of possible sentences.

  • Three standards can be applied when evaluating sentence combinations: the effectiveness of sentence responses, the clarity and directness of meaning and/or rhythmic appeal, and the intended audience.

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