Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Window of Words

Zerelda Hammer


Given a picture of a window with four panes, students imagine that they are looking out (or in) a window and write about what they see using a variety of sentence structures.


The student attempts to use a variety of sentence structures to support the story.


- Overhead projector
- Overhead markers
- Transparencies
- Window Pattern (to be downloaded)
- Window Pattern w/sample (to be downloaded)
- Transparency of blank window
- Transparency of sample
- Copy Paper
- For optional use: information and instructions for independent study (to be downloaded)


1. Make sure the overhead projector is working properly
2. Gather overhead markers
3. Gather transparencies
4. Gather copy paper
5. Download document (Microsoft Word 97) with blank window page for students, window w/example, and information/instructions for independent student work AND unzip file
6. Make a transparency of blank window
7. Make transparency of sample window
8. Make enough copies of blank window for students


Note: When you teach and/or reinforce sentence structure/patterns, this is an ideal lesson to use because you can tailor it to your needs (see Extensions). Prior knowledge for students includes knowing the parts of speech.

1. Tell students that they will be creating a paragraph about what they see looking in their window on Thanksgiving day (or out the window the first day of spring - you set the scenerio). First, however, they will compose four sentences - one in each window pane - that will become a part of their paragraphs.

2. Place sample transparency on overhead and discuss the sentence structures/patterns that you are teaching and/or reinforcing.

3. Use the blank window transparency and write in your own examples to show the students how to fill out their window (or use examples from the Sentence Variation information/instruction page).

4. Tell students that they should have ten or more words in each sentence (you may want to reduce this requirement for younger children).

a. In the upper left corner, students will begin their sentence with an adverb.

b. In the upper right corner, students will create a sentence with an adjective clause in the middle of the sentence.

c. In the lower left corner, students will begin their sentence with a prepositional phrase.

d. In the lower right corner, students will create a sentence using inverted word order.

4. Then show the students how the sentences are used to create a paragraph (the order of the types of sentence patterns does not matter), adding an introductory and a closing sentence (see example at bottom of sample window page).

5. Pass out the blank window page.

6. Give students any remaining class time to work on their sentences (time needed to explain will vary with student ability and the purpose of your lesson)

7. Circulate to assist students if there is class time left to work.

8. Assign the sentences and paragraph as homework, and have the students decorate their windows with colored pencils, construction paper, wall paper, etc. Remind students to revise writing as necessary for a copy that follows the rules of grammar, mechanics, and usage.

9. Collect the next day.


Sentences in the window must follow the structure/pattern set by the teacher. Students who are not competent need additional feedback and practice before being summatively assessed.


This lesson can be modified for use by any grade level or any situation. Because of its versatility, this lesson could be used to teach and/or reinforce compound and complex sentences, parts of speech, or literary devices such as alliteration, simile, and metaphors. In addition, you can change the types of sentences to be used in the window to suit your needs. You may want the window panes to be filled with descriptive sentences or strong action sentences. You create the scenario. Have the students imagine that they are looking out the window on the first day of spring, or on a cold, snowy winter day, or change the holiday according to the time of year. A social studies teacher could use the window to have students write about an event in history, pretending they were there to witness the event. The possibilities are almost endless. Students could also work together to create sentences and paragraphs.
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