Charlie Brown: Do you know why English teachers go to college for four years? Linus: No. Charlie Brown: So they can make little kids write stupid essays on what they did all stupid summer!
“The masters of children’s literature have given us their books not only to read and enjoy as readers, but to dissect and learn from as writers” (McElveen and Dierking 364).
Form pairs or groups and write down some events you might develop into a story.
Choose one of the topics from the board or one you wrote down with your group. Fold your paper into four squares. Draw a picture in each box describing the event you chose to write about.
Your Task Add captions to your pictures. These can be words or sentences. Use the pictures to create a story about your event.
Students will use the published books as a model for their own writing. Students will learn to analyze picture books to identify elements of good writing. Teachers act as facilitators guiding the students to the elements in a piece of literature that make it great through questioning.
The evaluating process will help the students have a better understanding/example of what elements create a good piece of writing. Breaking down the lessons to focus on one element at a time will allow the students to practice and become comfortable one step at a time. Students will be able to use the element of images from the picture books to enhance their visualization which “ may spark broader vocabulary and enrich sentence structure ” as they write (Sinatra 15)
The use of visual strategies provides access to both hemispheres of the brain. Left brain dominant students: Perform better at verbal and language-related tasks Right brain dominant students: Perform better at visual spatial tasks. Traditionally, school activities are geared toward those who are left brained, while the right brain dominant students are often labeled “slow”, “incapable”, or “learning disabled” (Sinatra 17).
McElveen and Dierking (362-363) found three major benefits of using picture books: They help students generate their own topics for writing. They provide good writing examples for instruction in the qualities of effective writing. As children are exposed to the models of writing, their ability to think more like a writer is developed and enhanced, and they begin to apply the skills in their own writing.
Ideas Is the writing clear? Does the story have one central idea? Is it easy to follow? Organization Are the details clearly linked to one main idea? Does the book follow a pattern young writers could imitate? Voice Will I enjoy reading this book out loud and/or more than once? Does the story spark emotion? Word Choice Are everyday words used in creative ways? Are there powerful verbs? Can the reader picture it in their mind? Sentence Fluency Does the piece flow? Is there a mix of short and long sentences? Are there repeated phrases? Conventions Are there a variety of conventions? Are the conventions used in a “different”/uncommon way?
Choose one of the picture books displayed around the room. Write an email to your team explaining the book and how it will be used it to teach writing in your classroom. *Voice *Style *Compare/Contrast *Synonyms/Homonyms *Persuasive Writing *Dialogue *Sentence Types
Coutu, Raymond and Ruth Culham. Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits: K-2: An Annotated Bibliography of More Than 150 Mentor Texts With Teacher-Tested Lessons. United States: Scholactic Inc., 2000. Print. Heitman, Jane. "Using Picture Books to Teach Writing Skills." Library MediaConnection April/May 2005: 36 - 38. Print. McElveen, Susan Anderson and Connie Campbell Dierking,. “Children’s Books as Models to Teach Writing Skills.” The Reading Teacher 54.5 (2000 - 2001): 362-364. Print. Paquette, Kelli R. "Encouraging Primary Students’ writing through Children’s Literature." Early Childhood Education Journal Volume 35. Issue 2 (2007): 155 - 165. Print. Sinatra, Richard. “Using Visuals in the Composing Process”. Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association. Atlanta, GA. 23-27 April, 1979.