J. Peterman Enters the Classroom

I have been searching online for creative solutions for my students to practice developing Voice in their writing.  As I began diving deeper into the depths of the internet, I came across what I believe to be the very best lesson plan that could have ever been developed for implementing the skills required to show a strong voice.  It comes from the WritingFix website that is devoted to the 6-Trait Writing program.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 4.24.26 AM

The lesson that I will be implementing is

Inventing Stories for your Favorite Clothes

voice techniques borrowed from a very unique clothing catalogue

This original lesson was created by NNWP Teacher ConsultantDena Harrison. You can access all of Dena’s on-line lessons by visiting her teacher website.

The J. Peterman Clothing Catalogue is famous for its well-written descriptions of the clothes and accessories they sell.  Each item is given its own unique history through crafted writing descriptions, often involving stories and memories that are associated with what’s for sale.  After studying this famous catalogue’s wonderful descriptions and story-telling for its clothing items or accessories, students will impersonate the voice of the catalogue for an item they would like to sell.

I have to be honest, when I watched episodes of Seinfeld that featured Elaine Benes working for the J. Peterman catalog, I thought it was a fictional entity created solely for the television show.


  My naive and unworldly  mind was blown when I followed the link to the actual J. Peterman website!  The descriptions for the clothing and accessory pieces blew my mind!  I chose a few that I will feature as “anchor texts” for my students, but below are many many of my favorites!


Jersey Comfort Nightgown Party Dress Purse

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