Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Writer's Craft Book Tasting Event

It's been a week of Mo Willems here in our classroom!  We began our week look at a mentor sentence from Willem's book There Is a Bird on Your Head! from the Elephant and Piggie series.  We took a look at this sentence:

     "I do not want three baby chicks, two birds, and a nest on my head!"

Yesterday, we noticed all the things about the sentence that make it a great mentor sentence.  We noticed the number words, the pronoun I, the emotion shown by the exclamation mark, commas used in series, and plural nouns (our Word Study this week!).  Wow, we were amazed at all the description Willems used and how we could see Gerald the Elephant's face just by reading this sentence.  

We also began an author study of Willems in our reading block.  We read Knuffle Bunny and began recalling literary elements in fiction writing.  We remembered that literary elements are found in fiction writing and that fictional writing has a plot, setting, characters, rising action, climax, and falling action.  We are quite the smarty pants 2nd graders, I tell you!

Today, we continued our author study and incorporating our writing into our reading.  We gathered books that used speech bubbles in them...Geronimo Stilton, Captain Underpants, comics from the newspaper, and Mo Willems's books--OF COURSE! 

We gathered in small groups and had a small book tasting event.  Each group had a collection of various texts.  They first scanned the books and talked as a group about the similarities they saw in the writing styles of the authors.  We rotated texts and did the same for the new set of books.  We did this until each student got to put their hands on each text.

After debriefing with our small group, we gathered as a whole group and discussed the texts with these higher order thinking questions.

We noticed each author used speech bubbles in their writing to get their message across to their readers.  We noticed that ALL CAPS letters means you are really wanting to express some emotion, but we also talked about how it is possible for an author to use too many all caps words.  As one student said, "No one really goes around yelling all the time." and this is very true.  As authors, we have to be choosey when using all caps and use them only when we really need to add some serious voice.  We also had a conversation about which type of sentence structure works best with speech bubbles: short, simple sentences like Willems's work best.

Finally, it was our chance to try out writing with speech bubbles.  We each designed two characters and made them interact with each other using the speech bubbles.

The Adventures of Dirty Plate and the Sponge

I'm too powerful!

Keep writing, Second Graders!  Your voice matters!

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