We started our new writing unit, Authors as Mentors, two weeks ago. Since our whole school teaches writing workshop while using the same books and authors like Angela Johnson I decided to change it up a bit to help make the students excited about the unit.
Enter Patricia Polacco. I love everything about her books and her illustrations. We have read a few of her books throughout the year which were enjoyed. Since she is also a Michigan author, I thought this would be a point of interest and it has been. Love when things work out that way.
To start the unit we read Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.
I chose this book of hers because it has a great deal of talking, many details, small moment story, has dashes, ellipses, and words written all in capitals with many o's ...as my students would say. It has worked out perfect for us studying her writing this past week. The bonus is she writes stories that are true stories about herself just like we are suppose to do.
After our reading, we had a discussion about big watermelon and tiny seed book ideas and how we can turn a tiny seed into a story. Students received their own tiny seed notebook. I am glad to say they understood how tiny seed ideas need details to go with it. I don't have a picture of the actual notebooks students are using, but here are the pages that are in their notebooks and the cover. I cut them out and assembled the books with a wide strip of construction paper. I had students glue on their title page.
Click on the pictures if you would like a copy or here.
Maybe what I am even more excited about is how I am going to tie in Thunder Cake to our author celebration in a couple weeks.
We are going to start working on many moment stories this week. I plan on using Polacco's Some Birthday because what first grader can't relate to a birthday story. I should also say that I still tie in Angela Johnson's books for some of the writing techniques she uses, but Polacco is our primary mentor author.
Now for some linky fun...Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle has this super fun linky party going on and here is what I am adding to You Know You're A Teacher When...
This happens to me all the time. The worst is when I don't realize it until I am already out in public.
Seriously, we had a snow day then the staff got together soon after and most of us said we were up at 4:00 a.m. checking the weather and news then were so excited we got a snow day we didn't go back to sleep.