March 31, 2018
Writing territories are topics each of us knows well. These topics we know well or enjoy learning more about. One writing territory I enjoy is baseball. I have read many picture books on the topic: narrative- first person, second person, third person, informational, historical fiction, biographies, ABC book, 101 Reasons, specific professional team. One topic; many forms of writing.
Kids need to see they can use their same topic in many writing forms. Comparing books is a great way to show children how they can explore writing techniques.
Bear and Duck by Katy Hudson is a fictional story about a bear who tries being a duck. An unlikely friendship forms.
Savorings for Bear and Duck:
- Power of 3
- Sequential steps
- How To
- Hyphenated words
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead is about a bear who wants to share his story but helps his friends get ready for winter. Spring comes. Bear does random acts of kindness for his friends.
Savorings for Bear Has a Story to Tell:
- Story elements – great as a mentor text
- Sesnory description
- Love of Story
- Fast-forward Time
- Acts of Kindness
A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson presents a different approach to bears. A little boy is on adventure to find bears with the reader speaking to him in second-person narrative. Love the voice in this book! Enjoy!
Savorings for A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting:
- Field Notes/ Writer’s notebook
- Reader talks to the character
- Second Person Narrative
- Compare/ Contrast
March 29, 2018
Steve Jenkins warns his readers about the dangers of some animals in a kid-friendly fashion in Never Smile at a Monkey. Each page shares one of eighteen different creatures’ harmful characteristics. Written in a repeating structure, NEVER begins the informative paragraph using alliteration in the subsection titles. At the end of the book, more information is shared regarding each creature.
Introduce the book with this book trailer.
Jessica Ivy shares how to use the book with close reading techniques (level O). She shares her reproducible resources on Teachers Pay Teachers for free.
Savorings for Never Smile at a Monkey:
- Commands – Look out!
- Intertwines physic qualities with emotional characteristics – “Sharp hooves, long horns, and an extremely nasty temper”
- Dependent Clauses
- Power of 3
March 27, 2018
Jessica Olien (@jessicaolien) created a hybrid text in The Blobfish Book. Students are introduced to the creatures of each ocean zone. Facts are shared with real photos of the animal creatures. Blobfish adds his first-person commentary on each page with speech bubbles. The humorous style will hook your kids into learning more about the ocean.
When the text shares that the Blobfish was named the ugliest animal in the universe, Blobfish has a melt down. The other creatures, his friends, rally around him to uplift his spirits.
This book trailer includes an explanation of the different ocean zones.
This kid science video explains why the Blobfish is called the ugliest animal. Also, check out the book Pink is for Blobfish.
Savorings for The Blobfish Book:
- Hybrid text
- Speech bubbles
- Encouraging others
March 26, 2018
Problems. They arise when you least expect it. Each one of us handles problems in different ways. Children are learning to handle problems, to see another person’s point of view or to face a fear perhaps. This book, What Do You Do With a Problem?, gives us an opportunity to teach children different ways of handling problems. It’s a great reminder for anyone.
“Every problem has an opportunity for something good. You just have to look for it.”
On this link, the first 1:37 seconds is a book trailer. The reader continues to read the book for the duration of the video. Below is another read-aloud of the book.
The author, Kobi Yamada, gives his thanks to teachers as he reads his book Because I Had a Teacher.
Savorings for What Do You Do With a Problem?:
- Magic of 3
- Character thinking
- Repeating phrase
- Building scenes
- Face Challenges – “And the more I avoided my problem, the more I saw it everywhere.”
March 24, 2018
Everyday we have opportunities to brighten the lives of others.
On my first reading of Ellie by Mike Wu, the story line seemed to be a simple story. The setting and characters are set with a zoomed-in lens with white background. Ellie’s eyes capture your heart and you are drawn in to her emotion. It was the scene of Ellie first trying her painting, giving it her first try after Walt had modeled the basics, that I made a connection. Ellie explored her talent and surprised her “teacher” with the unexpected. Ellie’s talent shined because Walt: 1) celebrated her accomplishment; 2) brought her the needed tools to thrive; and 3) honored her contribution.
We are like Walt. At the moment Ellie had self-doubt, he encouraged and supported. And like Walt, we equip our students with tools to create, explore, and flourish. We have the power to propel our students forward to paint their masterpieces while we celebrate alongside.
Show this book trailer to your students to introduce the book.
Click this link to hear the video online. The story pace allows the children time to admire the illustrations. This link would be a wonderful eLearning book to share with your students. You could have them write a response to the book sharing about what they are good at, a time they helped someone, or maybe a special trip to the zoo. You can then discuss the deeper meaning of the book with your class.
Savorings for Ellie:
- Introduction to Story Elements
- Internal Conflict
- Repeating phrase -“If only…”
- Making a Difference