I had a lot of fun considering favorite picture books as I considered the variety of ways one could organize a story. So many times in elementary school kids are given a prescription for writing and they must follow that. Writing is more fun when students are free to organize their thoughts or ideas creatively. Four picture books provide inspiration for young writers by demonstrating different book structures and encouraging students to organize a story uniquely.
When I thought about a persuasive mentor text, my first thought was to go with The Pigeon, Mo Willems’ crabby bird who demands things. I almost dismissed this Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus writing idea because I thought my kids will probably think it is childish, but went I with it anyway. I’m so glad I did! It was so silly that they completely enjoyed it. Mo Willems’ pigeon was was the perfect character for a persuasive writing lesson. You’d think there was a young audience for the book. Revisiting Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! with older kids allowed them to practice writing on a subject that was very humorous!
In the book In the Snow by Huy Voun Lee, Xiao Ming and his mother walk in newly fallen snow and his mother shows him Chinese characters by writing them in the snow. They discuss how the characters look like the items they are describing. Despite our lack of snow in Chicagoland this season,we made our own snow and practiced writing in the snow at our kitchen table, making English letters rather than Chinese characters as they did in the picture book.Continue Reading
I’ve always loved the tale of the gingerbread man. True, we could feel sad that a walking and talking anthropomorphic being has been eaten. But we’re talking gingerbread here. Gingerbread stories make my mouth water. I love to find a variety of gingerbread books during the holiday season.
I always associate gingerbread with the holidays. When I was young, my family would make gingerbread houses every holiday season. Usually, we would cover it with our favorite candies. We’d stack it on the mantle in the dining room. Then, after a month, on New Year’s Eve, we’d smash it to pieces with a rolling pin and eat it. Well, it usually was pretty tough to eat, but we’d try our best. After all, it had our favorite candies!
I shutter with disgust at the thought of eating it now a days. A month of dust? I guess that is what becoming an adult does to me. Nevertheless, my kids and I still love gingerbread stories and baking gingerbread cookies. Here are some of our favorite gingerbread books. Continue Reading