Presentation on theme: "Deborah Russo Eric Carle’s books tell the whole story through the illustrations. The words are a complement to the illustrative components of the stories."— Presentation transcript:
Eric Carle’s books tell the whole story through the illustrations. The words are a complement to the illustrative components of the stories. His big, bold illustrations are done in such a way that children can relate to them as both readers and writers themselves. “Writers make something by combining together words; illustrators make something by combining together images. Writers put words together to form a whole; illustrators put images together to form a whole” (Wood Ray, 2010). In this unit, we will acts as illustrators and writers to form a whole and to tell our own stories. Eric Carle’s books naturally lend themselves to pairing fiction with non- fiction. In this unit, we will use a variety of Eric Carle’s books and pair them with non-fiction that corresponds to the topics in each book. The unit will focus on the non-fiction aspects of Eric Carle’s fictional stories, and we will notice how each of Eric Carle’s books tells us a lot of facts about each topic. After reading many of his books, we will use our whole group focus sessions to aide in the inspiration of ideas for our own individual My Book About … books. The My Book About… books are books where a student tells a lot about what they know about a particular subject within the pages of their own book.
Day 1: We begin the unit with a viewing of the video of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After the video, the discussion question will be: “What did you notice during the video of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?”
Day 2: We read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. After reading the book, we talk about whether this is a fiction or non-fiction book. Then, we read a life cycle of a butterfly non-fiction book to the students. We discuss that even though The Very Hungry Caterpillar book is fiction, there are real, non- fiction, aspects to this book. We list the true aspects of the book on the white board. We label the list with the word Caterpillar.
Day 3: The next day, I put an idea bubble on the white board and write the topic word Caterpillar from the day before on the line in the bubble. I add a small picture above the word. This idea bubble is placed to the far side of the white board, where other idea bubbles will be added throughout the week. Next, we read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. We pair this book with a non-fiction book about spiders. We talk about and list on the white board the true, non-fiction, concepts which were in Eric Carle’s book. We add another idea bubble under the last idea bubble with the word Spiders on the line, and a picture of a spider above the line.
Day 4: We read A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. We pair this book with a non-fiction book about hermit crabs. We talk about and list on the white board the true, non-fiction, concepts which were in Eric Carle’s book. We add another idea bubble under the last idea bubble with the word hermit crab on the line, and a picture of a hermit crab above the line. Then, I talk to the children about how Eric Carle knew a lot about caterpillars, spiders and other topics, and I point out the idea bubbles on the white board. I ask the students if they know a lot about something. I take responses, and after each response, I take the topic word for each child’s response and fill it into an enlarged model of the writing page that the students will be working on today. Next, I show the students their copy of their writing page, and ask them to go to the table and write in two topic words and draw in two corresponding pictures of things that they know about. This writing page will be a brainstorming page full of ideas that can later be used to launch ideas for their My Book About… books.
Day 5 and 6: Same procedure for both days, give the students one more blank copy of the idea bubble recording sheet. This time, I ask them to fill in as many idea bubbles with words and pictures as they can, one for each topic that they know a lot about.
Day 7: We have a pair share today to show eachother our idea bubble pages and tell eachother what we now a lot about. During this pair share, students practice taking turns, listening to the other, asking questions, and showing/telling about their own pages.
Day 8: I introduce the My Book About… books. I show the students my model book. I talk about how I know a lot about Rollerskating since I did a lot of skating as a child and it’s a topic that I love. I write the title of my book on the line on the cover. Next, I fill in the first page of my book as a demonstration for the students. I sound out the words for my page, stretching out each word and asking for student help to hear the sounds in each word. These words I write in sound spelling, so they know that they are expected to use sound spelling too. I spell sight words correctly and ask for student help to find the words on the word wall. I model my beginning of my illustration for the students, beginning with a sketch of my big ideas on the page, and adding important details as I press on to tell my whole story with my illustrations. Next, I remind the students that they know a lot about many things and refer to the idea bubble sheets which they have worked on. I tell them that they can use one of their ideas from their idea bubble pages to use for their My Book About… book. pages, and send the students to the work table where they will begin their work on a My Book About… book. (I had placed the blank books around the table ahead of time so that I would only have to hand out the idea bubble pages and send them on their way.) I always ask if there are kids who need help with their ideas, and ask them to stay at the meeting area where we will look at their idea pages together and I will ask them to tell me something that they know about some of the topics which they had listed on their idea bubble page. I encourage all children in this small idea group to listen to eachother’s ideas and to assist eachother in expanding upon these ideas.
I give the students a direction to follow procedures previously set in prior writing experiences in our classroom. The main points are as follows: *Work on one page per day. *The first day, we add words and illustration in regular pencil, we focus on adding detail to tell our whole picture through illustration. *The next day we will bring our illustrations to life with color. ***I have found that this procedure allows kindergarten students to tell their whole story with their pictures, makes them focus on adding more detail, makes them slow down and get all of their words on the page, and allows them to focus on expanding upon details the next day when we add color to our illustrations.
Day 9 – 18: We work on these books during writing time each day for approximately two weeks. Teachers check in to make sure that kids stay on their selected topic, sound out their words to the best of their ability, add word wall words correctly, and add lots of detail to tell their whole story and to bring the pictures to life. During this time, we are following Wood Ray’s (2010) advice, “If the goal of writing instruction is for students to become proficient communicators, then teachers must first help them understand and build stamina for creative kinds of work…To do creative work, students will need both the stamina to …work on something over time, returning to the same project day after day”.
Day 19 and 20: Show Eric Carle Picture Writer Video segments to the class. This video is wonderful and shows Eric making his papers while he explains his methods and how he came to be an artist. Day 20, 21, 22: To tie the whole unit together, have children create a fancy cover for their book. Have the students use a collage type of artistry just as Eric Carle does with painting ‘”papers,” cutting out story elements, and glueing them onto colorful backgrounds to really bring their covers to life. Laminate the covers before binding the books.
Day 23: When the books are complete, we celebrate!!! We share the books with eachother. During writing time, we divide into small groups of four, and we show and read our books to the others in that small group. We also put all of the completed books on a large table so that students can show their book to other students who were not in their small groups, this becomes a learning center for a day or two depending on the popularity of the center.
Beyond Day 23: These books will then be added to each individual child’s Book Bucket for reading during Book Bucket time, the books will be shown as well during Open House to parents, and will become a part of the students Kindergarten Portfolio. Making more of these types of books can occur as long as the students remain interested in the task. The teacher can introduce other non-fiction topics and pair them with other books from a different author to keep the momentum of the writing ideas going.
Wood Ray (2010) challenges us when she asks, “What if we could support children as they make meaning both visually and verbally and know that in doing so, neither ability or competency is diminished; instead, both are strengthened?” Routman (2005), sets the bar for us as well when she states: “I want students to write with passion and ease. I want them to be motivated, confident writers who see writing as an everyday, useful, even enjoyable tool.” This unit accomplishes both goals set forth for us and children will benefit from and fully enjoy its implementation.
Carle, E. (1969). The very hungry caterpillar. New York, NY: Philomel Books. Carle, E. (1990). The very busy spider. New York, NY: Scholastic. Carle, E. (2002). A house for hermit crab. New York, NY: Aladdin. Routman, R. (2005). Writing essentials. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Wood Ray, K. (2010). In pictures and words. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.