First, many books follow a traditional structure, but it is always fun to find a story told a little differently. One thing I think would be fun would be to read a variety of books with similar organization and compare them. My Goldilocks unit, for example, compares a few of the same stories. Read a traditional Goldilocks story, and then read Previously by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Bruce Ingram, which tells the story backwards!
And then there are the books that are completely different. There is no beginning, middle, and end. I love Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein. This follows a circle pattern of organization, as Amelia smiles, which causes Miss Higgins to make her son cookies and send them to Mexico, and so forth, all the way back to Amelia. This creative organization makes for a feel-good story, but it’s also a creative way to show our influence in the world besides writing with a traditional beginning, middle, and end.
Another creative approach to organization is the ABC book. Admittedly, these get tiresome, so it’s always a joy to find a creative ABC book. If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk provides a new approach. Ms McGuirk collects pretty rocks off the coast of Florida, and this book is a collection of the rocks she found that make pretty shapes: letters and numbers, animals, etc. This is a wonderfully organized way of showing off her rock collection!
And then we have a book I found just this week. How to by Julie Morstad features picture of kids doing something, with a “how to” direction at the top. For example, the cover shows a girl drawing on the ground. That page correlates to “how to make friends.” I loved the creative way of organizing the ideas of what kids like to do, and the effect those fun things have on others.
What books do you use to highlight organization when you teach your students? Link up at Comprehension Connection if you write a blog post too! Or link right here….
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