Posts tagged ‘repetition’
Topics: rainforest, animals, birds, nonfiction poetry
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area, Personal Essay
Habits of Mind: gathering data through all senses
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference
Writing Skills: using repetition, incorporating rhythm and rhyme, using sparkling vocabulary, using alliteration
My Thoughts: A few months ago I received a GrowLab through a DonorsChoose grant. We received support from an educator at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and created corsage box terrariums. Students planted cuttings from three different plants that thrive in the rainforest. I plan on reading this book soon to support our gardening experience. The text in this book is so vivid that as I read it I can actually feel the humidity of the rainforest. It’s a great text for teaching students how to interpret metaphors. At the end of the book, the author writes a message to her readers encouraging us to find out more about saving the rapidly disappearing rainforest. Though it’s not technically a personal essay, you could use sections of the message as a mentor text.
Retell: After Max is sent to bed without supper he imagines traveling to a world where he becomes king of the wild things. Being a wild things is fun for awhile but he learns that it cannot compare to the comforts of home.
Topics: monsters, mischief, disobedience, imagination, travel, dreams, home
Units of Study: Fantasy, Talking and Writing About texts
Habits of Mind: creating-innovating-imagining
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference
Writing Skills: using repetition, crafting endings that connect to the beginning
My Thoughts: I dressed up as a wild thing for our recent school Halloween parade. I looked more like a hairy viking than a wild thing, but I get points for trying. To introduce my costume I read this book aloud. Many of them had heard it before. I’m glad I was able to tuck in this classic read aloud before the majority of my students head to the cinema to see the movie. Upon rereading it, I realized that one has to do a huge amount of envisionment as they read the text. The illustrations are wonderful, but they don’t reveal all. When reading this book aloud I recommend using the pages where there is no text to have your students (or your own children) role play and act like Max or the wild things. You can encourage them to make noise like them, talk like them, move like them and think like them.
Topics: whales, whale songs
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: repetition, alliteration
My Thoughts: Though the Content-Area unit is months away I’m trying to start early in my search for nonfiction poetry. As a child I loved doing research but I hated having to do research reports. Within the Content-Area unit students make choices about how they will publish the findings from their research. They could do a research report but they could also choose to do a speech, an essay or write a poem. Last year one of my struggling writers, who found essays and fiction writing to be torture, discovered nonfiction poetry. He became interested in longhouses, researched the topic for a few weeks and wrote a poem several stanzas long. I feel that I could lift the level of my students’ writing this year if I can get my hands on engaging nonfiction poetry. The Whales is just the mentor text I’ve been looking for. I love how she inserts factual information and balances it with descriptive language. I think it would be great to read this book side by side with an informational text in order to compare each author’s voice.
Do you know of any fantastic nonfiction poetry texts? Please post your suggestions in the comments section!
Topics: fossils, trilobites, dinosaurs, ocean, landforms
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe, striving for accuracy and precision
Reading Skills: envisionment, questioning
Writing Skills: using repetition
My Thoughts: One of the many goals of this blog is to discover hidden read aloud gems. This is one of those books and it just happens to fit with our current Science unit. I love how the author invites the reader to envision what the world must have been like when today’s mountains were covered by a vast ocean. This book could also make a good mentor text for students who need help using repetition effectively. If you decide to have students read and write nonfiction poetry, this book would be a good addition to that unit.
Topics: gasoline, carbon emissions, global warming, petroleum, coal
Units of Study: Personal Essay, Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits: Thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: questioning, determining importance, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: using repetition to make a thesis stronger, using supporting reasons and examples to support a thesis
My Thoughts: I mentioned before that my students are currently studying earth movements (how mountains are made, volcanoes, etc). Next week students will examine fossils found in rocks. This book could be a nice extension of the fossil investigation. It blew my mind years ago when I learned that petroleum is made from decomposed fossils. When we are in the Personal Essay unit I plan on rereading parts of this text to show how the writer weaves in her opinions and supports them with facts.
The beginning of the book explains how petroleum is made and how it has been used throughout history. Throughout this section the phrase, “They still didn’t use much” repeats. The author argues that gasoline and other petroleum products are not inherently evil. After all, the reason why we still have forests and whales is connected to the invention of distilled petroleum. I like how the book ends with the question, “What ways can you think of to help?” After the read aloud students could brainstorm ways to use less gasoline.
Retell: In this Nandi folktale a man is worried about the drought that is turning the plains brown and making his cows hungry and dry. He decides to make an arrow and shoot it into a storm cloud which brings the much needed rain.
Topics: plains, drought, weather, Kenya, folktales
Habits of Mind: thinking flexibly, managing impulsivity
Reading Skills: envisionment, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: incorporating repetition, rhyme and rhythm
Thoughts: Like “The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” and “The House that Jack Built” (also see The House That Crack Built) Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a cumulative rhyme. The words are composed in a way that it’s easy to find a rhythm when you read. In addition to being a nice Social Studies read aloud, it’s a great text to use with readers who need help with phrasing and parsing.
Retell: Easter is around the corner and Miss Eula wants a new hat to wear to church. Her grandchildren and her young neighbor decide to ask Mr. Kodinski if they could work at his hat shop to earn extra money. On the way to his shop, he mistakes the children for vandals. They come up with an interesting way to earn back his trust as well as earn enough money for a new hat.
Topics: reputation, hats, chutzpah, Easter, vandalism, gifts, Holocaust survivors
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Memoir, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Habits of Mind: thinking flexibly, creating-imagining-innovating, persisting
Reading Skills: questioning, inference
Writing Skills: zooming in on small moments, repeating powerful lines
My Thoughts: If you follow this blog daily, you’re sick of seeing entries about Patricia Polacco. I can’t help it. I love her work. Since I’m currently in the Personal Narrative mindset, her work naturally comes to mind. The illustrations in this book can be powerful teaching tools. Throughout Chicken Sunday, real photographs appear in the background. This shows that Polacco thinks about significant people in her life and then writes stories about them. I love how Mr. Kodinski’s story can be inferred through the illustrations. Previously, Miss Eula alluded to the fact that he wanted a peaceful life after suffering so much. The text never states specifically why he had a difficult life. The illustrations give you the information. Tattooed on Mr. Kodinski’s arm are six blue numbers, revealing that he survived the concentration camps. This book shows students how readers can reread a text and peal a different layer of meaning with each reading.