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Kevin Henkes SPRING 2011

WONDERANDSPARK.COM

NATALIE SMITH

Of his numerous awards, Henkes has been on the New York Times bestseller list and is a Caldecott Medalist.

Part 1 - Background Author, grade level and focus

I was introduced to Kevin Henkes’ books when my kindergarten team hired a new teacher to join us a few years ago. She adored his mouse books and I too, was soon was smitten with his character development and voice. While we have both since fluffed up our classroom libraries with his work, we never obtained a specific unit or group of lessons that could guide our students from readers (or listeners) of his work to independent writers. Because of this, I have chosen kindergarten as the audience for this unit, with a focus on Idea and Organization (from the Six Traits of Writing).

Rational

This year especially, I have seen my students struggle with idea in their writing process. Some students are stuck in a projectionist’s vortex - they know what they want their work to look and feel like, but their writing skills are not up to such high expectations. This inevitably causes these students to stare at their paper or alter their ideas to the most simplistic script. Many of my students flounder to generate ideas, stay on a topic or complete an idea. I sometimes scribe their stories, just to get their ideas on paper for them, but as I am listening and writing, I can see they are solely focusing on getting to the end (sometimes known as ‘getting it over with’) and they are not aware of a need for adding details to their stories. One of the most intriguing pieces of Henkes' works is his ability to connect with everyday situations young children often experience. This relatability is what attracts many children to his work again and again and will also be used as a springboard for writing in this unit. Many of my students have experienced events like having a new baby join the family (like in Julius, Baby of the World), they have worried about changes in their lives (as was in Wimberly Worried), or they have treasured a new toy (like in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse). Since these types of experiences are fresh in the minds of my students, I want them to be able to use Henkes' ideas to generate their own for writing and follow the organizational paths Henkes travels for taking the story from the beginning to the end. Since students will be focusing on experiences, their writing will be in a narrative form. Young kindergarteners are still in an egocentric mind stage. This unit will be using this fact as an advantage; asking students to write about personal experiences or what they might do in a certain situation. This unit also functions under the ideal that all students can communicate through print; some children may be writing whole sentences, while others are in a stage of pictures and letter strings. Marie Clay, among many others that have studied early developmental stages in writing, has shown educators that whether a child is ‘scribbling’, drawing pictures or writing words, these are all legitimate forms of composition. It is the teacher’s duty to understand the writing process, know her students well and scaffold instruction to meet developmental needs. Keeping developmental appropriateness and our state’s teaching standards at the forefront, this unit will included a great deal of modeling, repetition, some shared and guided reading lessons and opportunities for independent writing. As I have spoken with other kindergarten teachers in my school and district, they have mirrored concerns about the loss of joy in writing and an increase in a debilitating perfectionism. Keeping these conversations in mind, I am developing this unit with those teachers in mind. Since many kindergarten teachers already own quite a few of Henkes' books, my plan is to create this unit in an attractive and easy-to-read format so I can share it with my colleagues, which will hopefully arm them with another resource for helping our students transition into the world of becoming independent writers. Page 1


5 Goals for Students 1. Students will listen to mentor text and participate in class discussions about its ideas and storyline. 2. After listening to the mentor text, students will (as a class) create a list of writing ideas (using mentor text as a sequencing guide). 3. Students will organize their ideas to include a picture, writing that goes with the picture and write their name. 4. Students will draw from personal experiences/memories to compose (or dictate) a narrative. 5. Students will apply details to their writing (with teacher assistance, if needed).

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Kindergarten TEKS K.13.a-c: Writing/Writing Process. Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Students (with adult assistance) are expected to: (A) plan a first draft by generating ideas for writing through class discussion; (B) develop drafts by sequencing the action or details in the story; (C) revise drafts by adding details or sentences.

K.14.a:

Writing/Literary Texts. Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to: (A) dictate or write sentences to tell a story and put the sentences in chronological sequence.

Objectives The first objective of this unit is for students to see a connection between reading mentor text and their own writing. When the teacher can utilize a book to present how an author organizes a story, students can begin to build a foundational knowledge of story construction. By explicitly pointing out a writer’s technique, a teacher can say, “I want to show you how I use this knowledge as I write” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 12) and a student can emulate the technique in his or her own writing. Secondly, for emerging writers, there must be a sharing and a gradual release of the pen. This technique of modeling, sharing the writing and

then guiding small group or individual writing will lessen the anxiety of many writers and bolster the confidence of all. Lastly, this unit is designed for students to see and experience the writing process. Creating whole group writing activities and class books, students can witness the writing process and share the load of creating a book. Students can also watch a Kevin Henkes video, where he explains the arduous (but rewarding) task of creating a book. Along with experiencing the process for themselves (publishing class books), students can witness Henkes create illustrations and go through the drafting process. Page 2


Outlined Mini Lessons Mini-Lesson 1: Once Around the Block, by Kevin Henkes. Often teachers will create a shared experience to give students something to write about. This allows students the opportunity to draw on one another’s ideas and ensures the teacher can guide the chronological order of the writing. For this lesson, students will listen to Once Around the Block (a story about a girl that has a variety of experiences as she goes for a walk) and discuss the order of events. Students will then take a quick walk around the neighborhood (around the school) and return to their classroom for a shared writing activity. The teacher will draw students attention to the ideas and organization of the mentor text and work as a group to mirror this organization (the teacher scribes students retelling of their own walk). As a shared writing activity, students write on the class’ chart/easel paper of what happened on their excursion. (The teacher can model the beginning and offer writing prompts, such as “We saw ____.” or “We went to _____.”) The teacher will use a repeating sentence pattern (just as Henkes' did in the mentor text) and can invite students to create a drawing to represent their walk that lines up with the class’ writing. Mini-Lesson 2: A Good Day, by Kevin Henkes This text is a perfect model for bridging the concept of main idea to one-sentence writing. In A Good Day, Henkes describes why different characters are having a bad day. (Example: “Little brown squirrel dropped her nut.”)

IRA Standards and TExES Competencies IRA Standard 1 - Foundational Knowledge

For this lesson, the teacher will draw students attention to the fact that the entire book has a main focus (a bad day and how a bad day can become a good day). The teacher will pose the question, ‘What makes something a bad day for you?’ or ‘Have you ever had a bad day? What happened?’ The teacher will scribe students’ ideas. Then the teacher will ask ‘What is the main idea of what I have just written?’ The teacher will then share her own story of a bad day, how it changed to become a good day, and model how to write it. She may write something like: “I did not eat breakfast. I was hungry all morning at school. Then my teacher said, ‘We are having pizza for lunch.’ My favorite!” The students will then create a picture and words to accompany their personal experience of having a bad day. The teacher can work in a small group with students that need more assistance or scribing. Afterward, the teacher will combine all the writing to create a class book. Mini-Lesson 3: Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes. To help students understand how ideas in a text are organized, the teacher will introduce the concept of ‘story parts’. For example, in Kitten’s First Full Moon, the story has two parts: character (the kitten) and setting (the porch, a tree, the yard, etc.). After reading the mentor text, the teacher will ask the students to verbalize the different settings. The teacher will also draw to the students’ attention that the character remained the same, as well as her actions (she kept trying to get to the giant bowl of milk in the sky).

Next, the teacher will ask students to create a list of ideas about how else Kitten could search (or attempt to gain) a bowl of milk. Students generate ideas and plan what idea they would like to write about for the assignment. The teacher then models the writing process: verbalizing her ideas, writing the text, and then reviewing her writing. Students would then use the character of Kitten (from the mentor text and storyline) and create their own ideas and writings on the setting. For students that need extra guidance, the teacher can scribe or offer example sentences (“Kitten jumped on ______, but still no milk!”) Students that need an extra challenge can create many scenarios for Kitten to maneuver through or they can create the introduction and final pages for a class book of everyone’s writing. Mini-Lesson 4 & 5: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and The Biggest Boy, by Kevin Henkes. The teacher will use the text to model how writers use detail to contribute to their ideas during the writing process. After modeling this technique, students will draw upon personal experiences to generate ideas for writing. They will write about a special object or toy (as in Lilly’s purse) with great detail. After hearing the story of the biggest boy and his adventures after growing bigger than his own home, students will generate ideas to write about what they would do if they grew to be bigger than their house. During the writing process, the teacher will meet with students to work on adding or refining the use of details in their text. Afterward, students will share their stories with other students in pairs or for the class. These stories can then be bound for the classroom library.

References Dorfman, L.R., & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. Henkes, K. (2007). A good day. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

IRA Standard 2 - Curriculum and Instruction

Henkes, K. (1995). Julius, baby of the world. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

IRA Standard 5 - Literate Environment

Henkes, K. (1996). Lilly’s purple plastic purse. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

TExES Competency 008 - Written Language

Henkes, K. (2004). Kitten’s first full moon. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

Henkes, K. (1987). Once around the block. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books. Henkes, K. (1995). The biggest boy. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books. Henkes, K. (2010). Wimberly worried. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books. Page 3


Lesson 1 Activity/strategy and Rationale: As mentioned by Dorfman and Cappelli (2007), after multiple readings, students can view a book through the eyes of a writer. By doing this, students use mentor texts to guide their own writing. In this lesson, students will borrow the framework of a Kevin Henkes book to structure their own shared-writing story.

Teaching Idea & Organization with

Once Around the Block

This activity/strategy was selected to help students understand how to use a mentor text to start the idea and organization process. By using the book ‘Once Around the Block’ and giving children a shared experience, students can then use these two pieces to frame their own ideas and writing. Objectives: The students will be able to use mentor text as a framework for their own writing; inserting their original ideas. 1. Listen to the story and recall and sequence the events in the read aloud. 2. Walk around the school/block with the class and make observations of what they see, hear, smell and touch. 3. Recall the sequence of events during their walk and compare them with the events the main character (in the mentor text) experienced when she went walking. 4. Collaborate with the teacher to compose a shared writing piece about their walk. Rationale for Lesson: Young writers need explicit instruction on how to generate and organize ideas into the written form. They need a stepby-step model to show how one can have an idea, write about it and then make it into a book. Quite often, young writers will struggle to stay on topic or organize their ideas onto the page. Because of these needs, this lesson is designed to view a mentor text from a writer’s perspective, explicitly model the writing process and finally, share a pen with students to compose a piece modeled after the mentor text.

Use Henkes’ book to create an exciting shared writing activity Instructional Materials and Resources: Once Around the Block by Kevin Henkes Chart Paper Thinking Maps©: Flow Map Polaroid camera Student paper, pencil (extension only) Supporting Research The students will listen to repeated readings of the mentor text and begin to view it through the eyes of a writer. “As kids listen to stories and sometimes dramatize them or draw them, they get ideas of their own – original ones or adaptations. Let students know stories happen everywhere – at home, in school, on the playground, on the bus, in the imagination. Stories get us going in our writing.” (Routman, 2005). The students will use a Flow Map to organize the sequence of the story and of their own walk around the school/ neighborhood. In Thinking Maps: Seeing is Understanding, Hyerle (1995/1996) demonstrates how

the use of brain-based instruction (implementing the use of visual tools) can help students organize their ideas into coherent writing. When students are looking to demonstrate a sequence of events, they can use a Flow Map to organize their ideas before writing. The students will participate in shared writing. “In shared writing the teacher and students compose collaboratively, the teacher acting as expert and scribe for her apprentices as she demonstrates, guides, and negotiates the creation of meaningful text, focusing on the craft of writing as well as the conventions.” (Routman, 2005). “Shared writing is the context in which the students gain the skills and confidence to ‘have a go’ on their own, with guidance.” (Routman, 2005). Routman (2005) also describe this powerful practice as a means for children to understand how our written language works. She notes how this technique offers learning through collaboration and social interactions, not just the teacher’s explicit instruction.

Lesson 1, Page 1


Instructional Steps 1. Focus Activity: Whole group – Present the mentor text and ask students to tell what they remember of the story. The teacher can turn the pages as student take turns retelling (in order) the events of the story. Teacher then asks students to pretend they are the authors of the book and to notice how the book is organized (students may be more familiar with the terms ‘sorted’ or ‘patterned’). The teacher is specifically looking for students to notice: •

The main character starts at her house, walks the neighborhood and finishes her walk at her house (a.k.a. where the story began).

There is a pattern of the main character walking to different people’s houses and talking to them.

There is a reason the main character is walking.

The teacher tells the class they are going to walk around the block (just as the main character did) to witness signs of spring, and then write a story about it when they return. Essential question: “How can we use Once Around the Block to help us write our own story of our class going for a walk?” Teacher scribes students’ ideas. If students do not generate ideas based on the three listed above, the teacher will revisit the text with the class and review the structure/organization of the story (and explicitly tell how students will match up their observations from their walk to their own writing). For example, “Boys and girls, the story begins with Annie at her house. Our story will begin with us sitting in our classroom. On the second page, we see Annie leaving her house to go for a walk. So in our book, the second thing we will write/draw about is our class leaving the school.” 2. Modeling/Input: Whole group – Teacher gives an example story, so students can see how observations people make can be turned into at story. The teacher’s example may go like this: “Last night Mr. Smith and I took our dog Leroy for a walk. We saw many things and then walked home. I will write a story about it for you. As I’m writing, I will be thinking about how Kevin Henkes organized his story, to help me remember how to start the story, add my own ideas, then end the story.” “First I’ll use my Flow Map to show you the order of what happened on our walk.”

“Now, I will write a sentence to go with each picture.”

We walked out of the house with Leroy. We saw a squirrel. We heard leaves on a tree blowing. We walked in the house with Leroy.

“When I was organizing my pictures, I was thinking about Once Around the Block. First the author had Annie leave her house, then she saw different things, then she went back to her house.” “It was nice having Kevin Henke’s book to help me organize my own ideas. I want you to be thinking about what ideas you will put into your writing from our walk. Think about making observations with your eyes, ears, nose and hands as we walk. I will bring our camera so we can take pictures along the way and organize the pictures just as Kevin Henke’s did for his ideas.” Students go for a short walk around the school neighborhood. If possible, have predetermined stops arranged (example: a tree that is starting to blossom with flowers/leaves, a small bird’s nest, a parent that is willing to wave at the children as they walk past his/her house). Also, if a Polaroid camera is not available, the teacher can create a quick sketch or word on a note card to help jog the students memory when the return to the classroom and begin organizing their ideas for writing. Lesson 1, Page 2


3. Guided Practice: Whole group – After students return to the classroom, the teacher brings the mentor text back out to focus the children’s attention and ask the question again, “How can we use Once Around the Block to help us write our own story of our class going for a walk?” The teacher listens and guides thinking to model the books organization. Then students work together to arrange the Polaroid photos taken into the correct order of the story. (This is also the Thinking Map: Flow Map that students will refer to as they write a sentence to go along with each photo/experience from their walk.) Once the photos are in the correct order, students glue the photos along the top of the chart paper. The teacher then models the thought process and writing of the first sentence.

“The first picture is of our school. This reminds me that our class walked outside and leaving was the first thing that happened. That means I should write about our class leaving for the first sentence (or idea) for our story. I think our sentence should be something like, ‘We went out of the school. We went for a walk.’ I’m going to say that again to myself to listen and decide if that is what I really want to say and if my words match the picture at the beginning of the story.” The teacher repeats herself and writes the first sentence. 4. Independent writing practice: Whole group – The teacher then moves on to the second photo and asks students to verbalize their thoughts/memories of the photo and what words should be written for the story. When the group agrees on the wording, the teacher calls students up to take turns writing the words on the chart paper. This process is repeated until the middle of the story is complete. The teacher is frequently checking for understanding, asking the students how they know what to write, in what order, etc. The writing would looks something like this: “We went out of the school. We went for a walk. We saw buds on a tree. We saw a bird on her nest. We saw Mrs. Tully with her dog, Buddy.” 5. Check for understanding: Whole group – Before the final sentence is written (to close the story), the teacher will again bring out the mentor text Once Around the Block. She will draw students’ attention to how the book is organized and how the students have been generating their own ideas, while using the structure of the book to sort out what they wanted to say. Then the children will model the ending of their story, like the mentor text, writing about how they all returned to school. 6. Closure: Whole group – The teacher will continue the shared reading activity, ending the story with the students writing the last sentence. Then the teacher will invite the students to read the entire story with her. Afterward, she will ask the students if they felt anything needed to be changed (edited) and the class would read the story a final time, and then the teacher will hang the chart in the room for future reading/reference (published). The teacher will ask the students to summarize, in their own words, how they used a book to guide their own writing of a story. The teacher will also ask students to think about some of their favorite stories from home or books they’ve shared in class that would be great to model their own writing after. (Student ideas may include books like ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ or ‘Rosie’s Walk’)

Lesson 1, Page 3


Assessment: During the shared writing portion of the lesson, the teacher will keep anecdotal notes on students’ verbalized thinking processes and suggestions for writing (noting if they are staying on topic, following the story/picture line, and writing). The teacher will also write each child’s initials very discretely under what they wrote, so she can later recall what that student contributed. Modifications & Differentiation: For the writing process, the teacher will implement various modifications that are dependent on student needs. For example: • If a student needs help understanding the segmenting of words, the teacher will write a box for each word she wants the child to write. Then the child can focus on the writing and use the boxes to segment/space out the words. • For students that lack fine motor strength, the vertical surface of the chart paper along with writing with a marker is a perfect combination for these students. The teacher can also help by holding the students hand during the writing. • For students that are still learning the letter/sound link for words, the teacher will have a list of high frequency words for the child to refer to, along with including the class on the sounding out of words. For example: If Tara is the student writing (that needs extra assistance), the teacher will say to the class “Let’s sound this word out together. We’ll make the sound, then I will call on one of you to say the letter name and Tara will write it down.” • For children that have mastered the organization of writing, they can create their own idea sentences on their own paper to go along with the photos from the class walk. Extensions: For extension activities, provide students with other mentor text (introducing different authors) to glean organization from, while they insert their own ideas. Many of Pat Hutchins books would be great examples: The Doorbell Rang, The Wind Blew and Good-Night, Owl! Many language arts book adoptions provide story-sequencing cards that go along with books; these can be used to set up a Flow Map (frame) for students to create their own story. (If such cards are not available, teachers can photocopy pictures from a book for children to manipulate and write alongside.)

References Dorfman, L. R. & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Henkes, K. (1987). Once around the block. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Hutchins, P. (1972). Good-night, owl! New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. Hutchins, P. (1971). Rosie’s walk. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. Hutchins, P. (1989). The doorbell rang. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Hutchins, P. (1974). The wind blew. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. Hyerle, D. N. (1996). Thinking maps: Seeing is understanding. Educational leadership, December 1995/January 1996, 85-89. Hyerle, D. N. & Alper, L. S. (Eds.). (2011). Student successes with thinking maps: school-based research, results, and models for achievement using visual tools (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Cowin. Martin, B. (1967). Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company. Routman, R. (2005). Writing essentials: Raising expectations and results while simplifying teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Lesson 1, Page 4


Lesson 2 Activity/strategy and Rationale: Dorfman and Cappelli (2007) noted that after multiple readings, students can view a book through the eyes of a writer. When this happens, students use mentor texts to guide their own writing. In this lesson, young students will borrow the framework of a Kevin Henkes book to structure their own guided-writing story.

Teaching Idea & Organization with

A Good Day

This strategy was chosen to aid students in understanding how to model their own writing after an author’s ideas and organization process. Students will build their writing ideas upon the structural foundation of ‘A Good Day’. Objectives: The students will be able to use mentor text as a framework for their own writing; reflecting on their own interests to generate original ideas. 1. Listen to the story and recall and characters and the events of the story. 2. Organize the characters and events on a Bridge Map to examine how the author organizes the story. 3. Discuss how the author organized the story. 4. Collaborate with the teacher and their peers to create a class Bridge Map (s h ared w ri ti n g), c o n s i s ti n g o f analogies that pertain to each student and his/her interest. 5. Compose their own sentences, under the teacher’s guidance (guided writing). Rationale for Lesson: Emerging writers must have explicit instruction on how to generate and organize their ideas into written words. Coupling quality modeling with step-bystep instruction shows students how one can have an idea, sort out their thoughts and write it down for another reader to enjoy. Since kindergarten students often struggle to stay on topic or organize their ideas onto a page, this lesson is designed to view a mentor text from a writer’s perspective and dissect the organization of it. Then, through shared and guided writing, students compose their own ideas upon the structural framework of the mentor text.

Use Henkes’ book to create a guided writing activity Instructional Materials and Resources: A Good Day by Kevin Henkes Chart Paper Thinking Maps©: Bridge Map (pre-made with students names) Student paper, pencil, crayons Student paper with first and middle lines already written (for students who need modifications)

Supporting Research The students will listen to repeated readings of the mentor text and begin to view it through the eyes of a writer. "As kids listen to stories and sometimes dramatize them or draw them, they get ideas of their own - original ones or adaptations. Let students know stories happen everywhere - at home, in school, on the playground, on the bus, in the imagination. Stories get us going in our writing.” (Routman, 2005). The students will use a Bridge Map to organize the pattern of Henkes’ story (characters and plot) and their own story. In Thinking Maps: Seeing is Understanding, Hyerle (1995/1996) demonstrates how the use of brain-based instruction (implementing the use of visual tools) can help students organize their

ideas into coherent writing. When students are looking to transfer or form analogies and metaphors, they can use a Bridge Map to organize their ideas before writing. The students will participate in shared and guided writing activities. "Shared writing is a powerful way to connect reading and writing and improve both reading and writing skills. Beginning in kindergarten and in every grade thereafter, we can use shared writing to teach conversation humor, character development, interesting beginning everything authors do." Routman (2005) describes the powerful practices of shared and guided writing as means for children to understand how our written language works. She notes how this technique offers lear ning through collaboration and social interactions, not just the teacher’s explicit instruction. “Using social approach to learning, the teacher can assist learners to compose texts that they could not compose independently. Teachers support students as apprentices in writing through modeling and joint production of texts. Social learning theory (Bandura, 1977; Vygotsky, 1978) suggests that students learn best when learning is situated in a context in which they interact with each other and the teacher in meaningful, purposeful ways.” Lesson 2, Page 1


1. Focus Activity: Whole group – Present the mentor text and ask students to tell what they remember of the story. The teacher can turn the pages as students take turns retelling the events, characters and problem/solution of the story. The teacher then asks students to pretend they are the authors of the book and to notice how the book is organized. The teacher is specifically looking for students to notice: • The introduction of “It was a bad day because...” • The characters and the props that correlated with their good/bad day. • There is a turning point in the middle of the story. The author uses the words, “But then...” and the characters day changes from bad to good. • There is a pattern of the characters, their props, and how something happens to change the day from bad to good. • The teacher asks the students if they have ever had a bad day (relating back to the characters in the book). The teacher scribes on chart paper student responses. The teacher will ask the students what they notice about how Henkes patterned (organized) the story. (The teacher will refer back to the text with class, if needed). As students mention the book characters and their props, the teacher will scribe their ideas onto a Bridge Map. When all the characters of the story are on the Bridge Map with their relating item, the teacher will review the Bridge Map with the class. Then the teacher will ask for the relating factor (i.e. character’s prop was something they really liked). The Bridge Map would look something like this:

fox

squirrel

mom

acorn

bird

feather

Once the characters, props and relating factor have been organized, the teacher will ask students to focus on the pattern of events and how they correlate with the characters and props. A corresponding Bridge Map will be added to show the parallel thought process. Then, the teacher will go back to the scribed page that contains the students’ responses about their own bad days. The teacher will then ask an essential question: “How can we use the pattern of Henkes’ book to organize our own ideas for our own story?” Students discuss their ideas. If students struggle to generate ideas, the teacher will revisit the text with the class and review the structure/organization of the story (and explicitly tell how students will match up their name with something they really like, on a Bridge Map) For example, “Boys and girls, the story shows a squirrel with an acorn. The author chose an acorn for the squirrel because squirrels like acorns. So if a squirrel lost an acorn, he might be feeling like he was having a bad day. Your story will be about you and something you really like. Then your story will show how it would be a bad day for you if you lost that thing that you really like. The next part of your story will show how you get that thing back and are then having a good day.”

fox

squirrel

mom

acorn

can’t find mom found mom

lost acorn found new, bigger acorn Lesson 2, Page 2


2. Modeling/Input: Whole group – Teacher gives an example story, so students can see how ideas can be organized and turned into at story. The teacher’s example may go like this: “Last night, I sat on my bed reading my favorite book, but when I woke up my book was gone. I will write a story about it for you. As I’m writing, I will be thinking about how Kevin Henkes organized his story, to help me remember how to start my story, add my own ideas, then end the story.” “First I’ll use my Bridge Map to show you my ideas and how they relate.”

Mrs. Smith favorite book can’t find book found book under my bed “Now, I will write a sentence to go with each part of my ideas and Bridge Map.”

It was a bad day. Mrs. Smith couldn’t find her favorite book. But then... Mrs. Smith found her book under her bed. “When I was organizing my ideas, I was thinking about A Good Day. First the author said it was a bad day, then we saw each character and why their day was bad. Then the author showed us how the day got better.” “It was nice having Kevin Henkes' book to help me organize my own ideas. I want you to be thinking about what ideas you will put into your writing. Think about your favorite thing, losing it and then how you will find it, to make it a good day in your story. I’ve already helped you a bit by creating a Bridge Map for our class organize our ideas, just as Kevin Henke’s did for his ideas.”

3. Guided Practice: Whole group – The teacher returns to the mentor text and asks, “How can we use the pattern of Henkes’ book to organize our own ideas for our own story?” The teacher listens to and guides thinking to model the books organization. The teacher scribes and invites children to record their ideas onto the class Bridge Map (shared writing). The teacher passes out paper to the students for them to write their own sentences. The teacher talks through the writing process to help children understand how to move their organized ideas into sentence form, onto the paper. It would sound something like this: “First we will look at how Henkes starts his story. It says, “It was a bad day.” This reminds me that I want my story to begin this way and I will write, “It was a bad day.” on my first line. I am going to write the first line of my story, you can write the same words as me on your paper - let’s do it together.” (Teacher and students write first line with the teacher frequently monitoring for needed assistance/checking for understanding.) “Next, I notice the books starts talking about the characters and what favorite thing they each lost. That means I should talk about myself next and my favorite thing that I lost. Boys and girls, watch me as I write, then it will be your turn to write your own idea on your paper.” (The teacher references the class’ Bridge Map and creates a sentence.) “I want to go back and reread what I have written so far, to make sure it says what I want it to say. Good writers will always go back and reread, then make changes.” (Teacher models the revision technique of rereading and making adjustments as needed.)

Lesson 2, Page 3


4. Independent writing practice: Whole group – The teacher will guide students through the steps of inserting their own ideas into the story line. The teacher will remind the students to look back at the Bridge Map the class created to help them remember what they said about their favorite thing. She might say something like, “Jane is the character and the thing she lost was her bike. So what will Jane write that talks about that. Can anyone tell me what that might sound like?” Teacher takes student ideas and they agree upon what should be written. “I am going to help Jane write what you said, inserting her name and favorite thing and I want you to write your sentence with your name and favorite thing on your paper.” The teacher and students’ papers will look something like this: It was a bad day. Jane lost her favorite bike. This process is repeated (guiding students through idea to writing process) to the middle of the story. The teacher will frequently check for understanding, monitor writing, etc. Students’ writing will look something like this: It was a bad day. Jane lost her bike. But then... 5. Check for understanding: Whole group – Before the final sentence is written (to close the story), the teacher will again bring out the mentor text A Good Day. The teacher will draw students’ attention to how the book is organized and how the students have been generating their own ideas, while using the structure of the book to sort out what they wanted to say. Then the children will model the ending of their story after the mentor text, writing about how the bad day turned good. 6. Closure: Whole group – The teacher will continue the guided writing activity, asking the students to end their own stories with a last sentence about how they found their favorite thing. Then the teacher will invite the students to reread their entire story with to the person sitting next to them. Afterward, the teacher will ask the students if they felt anything needed to be changed (edited) and as a class they would discuss these changes and alter the story as needed. Then the teacher will hang the charts that were created in the room for future reading/reference and collect the students papers to combine them into a class book (published). The teacher will ask the students to summarize, in their own words, how they used a book to guide their own writing of a story. The teacher will also ask students to think about some of their favorite stories from home or books they’ve shared in class that would be great to model their own writing after. (Student ideas may include books like Q is for Duck by Mary Elting, since it also follows a Bridge Maps organization process.) Assessment: During the guided writing portion of the lesson, the teacher will keep anecdotal notes on students’ verbalized thinking processes and suggestions for writing (noting if they are staying on topic, following the story/picture line, and writing). The teacher will also write each child’s initials very discretely under what they wrote (on the shared writing chart), so she can later recall what that student contributed. Modifications & Differentiation: For the writing process, the teacher will implement various modifications that are dependent on student needs. For example: •If a students struggles with the amount of writing required for this task, the teacher will provide a paper with the fist and middle lines already written (“It was a bad day.” and “But then...”). •If a student needs help understanding the segmenting of words, the teacher will write a box for each word she wants the child to write. Then the child can focus on the writing and use the boxes to segment/space out the words. •For students that lack fine motor strength, the teacher will specifically call on those students to participate in the shared writing portion of the lesson since the vertical surface of the chart paper, combined with use of a felt tip marker, is a perfect combination for strengthening those muscles. The teacher can also help by holding the students hand during the shared writing or provide a modified writing utensil for the guided writing. •For students that are still learning the letter/sound link for words, the teacher will have a list of high frequency words for the child to refer to, along with including the class on the sounding out of words aloud, during the shared writing. For example: If Ryan is the student writing (that needs extra assistance), the teacher will say to the class “Let’s sound this word out together. We’ll make the sound, then I will call on one of you to say the letter name and Ryan will write it down.” The teacher will also keep the Bridge Map and the teacher’s paper displayed for these students to copy, if needed. •For children that have mastered the organization of this writing, they can create their own idea sentences, creating new characters/props or situations for themselves as characters. These additional ideas/pages would be added to the class book. Lesson 2, Page 4


Extensions: For extension activities, provide students with other mentor text (introducing different authors) to glean organization from, while they insert their own ideas. A House Is A House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman and Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood are two other great examples for the students to read, model the structure of their story after and then insert their own writing.

Reference List: Dorfman, L. R. & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Elting, M. (1980). Q is for duck: An alphabet guessing game. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. Henkes, K. (2007). A good day. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Hoberman, M. A. (1978). A house is a house for me. New York, NY: Puffin. Hyerle, D. N. (1996). Thinking maps: Seeing is understanding. Educational leadership, December 1995/January 1996, 85-89. Routman, R. (2005). Writing essentials: Raising expectations and results while simplifying teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Wood, A. (1997). Quick as a cricket. Swindon, England: Child’s Play International.

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Lesson 3

Teaching Idea & Organization with

Activity/strategy and Rationale:

Kitten’s First Full Moon

As students reread books and become familiar with the concept of viewing a book through the eyes of a writer (Dorfman and Cappelli, 2007), they can begin to use mentor texts to guide their own writing. In this lesson, students will borrow the framework of a Kevin Henkes book to structure their own story. This activity/strategy was selected to help students understand how to use a mentor text to generate ideas and duplicate the organization process. By using the storyline and structure of Kitten’s First Full Moon, students have a frame for their own ideas and writing. Objectives: The students will be able to use mentor text as a framework for their own writing. 1. Listen to the story and recall and sequence the events in the read aloud. 2. Examine the parts of a story; characters and setting. 3. Organize the mentor text within a Tree Map (a.k.a. graphic organizer). 4. Create alternative story-lines. 5. Compose a story modeled after the mentor text. Rationale for Lesson: Kindergarten students need explicit instruction on generating and organizing their ideas into written words. Matching quality modeling with step-by-step instruction exemplifies how the spark of an idea can be sorted out and written down for others to enjoy. Since emergent writers often struggle to stay on topic and/or organize their ideas onto a page, this lesson is designed to view a mentor text from a writer’s perspective and dissect the organization of it. Then, through teacher modeling and scaffolding, students compose their own ideas upon the structural framework of the mentor text.

Use Henkes’ book to create a mischievous guided writing activity

Instructional Materials and Resources: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes Chart Paper Thinking Maps©: Tree Map Student paper, pencil

Supporting Research The students will listen to repeated readings of the mentor text and begin to view it through the eyes of a writer. “Mentor texts are pieces of literature that we can return to again and again as we help our young writers learn how to do what they may not yet be able to do on their own.” “They help students envision the kind of writer they can become; they help teachers move the whole writer, rather than each individual piece of writing, forward.” (Dorfman and Cappelli, 2007) The students will use a Tree Map to understand story parts; specifically the

organization of characters and setting in Henkes’ book, to be mimicked in their own writing. “By introducing our young writers to the organizational scaffolds authors use, we can help them envision new possibilities for their own writing.” (Dorfman and Cappelli, 2007). In Thinking Maps: Seeing is Understanding, Hyerle (1995/1996) demonstrates how the use of brain-based instruction (implementing the use of visual tools) can help students organize their ideas into coherent writing. When students are looking to show relationships between main ideas and supporting details, they can use a Tree Map to organize their ideas before writing The students will participate in guided and individual writing activities. "Kindergarten students are just beginning to be able to present a logical progression of ideas in their writings and will need much teacher modeling and mini-lessons to achieve this proficiency." (Buckner, 2000).

Lesson 3, Page 1


Instructional Steps 1. Focus Activity:Whole group – The teacher will present the mentor text and ask students to tell what they remember of the story. The teacher can turn the pages as student take turns retelling (in order) the events of the story. The teacher then asks students to pretend they are the authors of the book and to notice how the book is organized (students may be more familiar with the terms ‘sorted’ or ‘patterned’). The teacher is specifically looking for students to notice: •

The main character (Kitten) keeps trying to get the giant bowl of milk in the sky, but the reader knows it is really the moon.

There is a pattern; Kitten tries different ways to get the mild in the sky, but every time she fails and the book says, “Poor Kitten!”

The teacher introduces story parts/how the book can be sorted; by characters and setting. The teacher uses a Tree Map for visual representation.

Story Parts

characters

settings

Essential question: “If we were to write a book like Kitten’s First Full Moon, how can we use Henkes’ ideas and organization to help us?” Teacher scribes students’ ideas. If students do not generate ideas based on the two listed above or the visual, the teacher will revisit the text with the class and review the structure/organization of the story and explicitly tell how students can match up Henkes’ book to the visual. For example, “Boys and girls, this book is about just one kitten. Kitten is the character. When we see Kitten go to different places to reach to the giant bowl of milk, all of those places are called the settings.”

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Lesson 3, Page 2


2. Modeling/Input: Whole group – The teacher will give an example story, so students can see how writers use the storyline of a mentor text as a model for their own writing. The teacher’s example may go like this: “I want to write a story about Kitten trying to get to a giant bowl of milk, too. My story is going to be a lot like Henkes’ but I’m going to make up my own ideas for Kitten to try.” “First I’ll use my Tree Map to organize my thinking and ideas.”

!

“I think it would be neat if Kitten tried to reach the moon by climbing up a slide; I can imagine her jumping up for the milk/moon and then sliding down to the bottom and writing “Poor Kitten!” – just like Henkes’ did. Then I’ll have Kitten climb to the very top of my house to reach the bowl of milk in the sky. Wow! That’s high up! Then when she’s on the roof and still can’t reach, she could hear me calling her to drink a real bowl of milk.” “Now, I will write a sentences to go with each picture and idea. First I’ll write the beginning of my story like Henkes’. Then, after I insert my own ideas, I can write an ending like Henkes’.” T here is a full moon and Kitten thinks it is a bowl of milk. Kitten wants it! So she climbed to the top of the tallest slide and jumped for the milk. But she missed and slid down to the bottom of the slide. Poor Kitten! Then she climbed to the top of the roof of my house, but she still couldn’t reach the milk in the sky. Poor Kitten! Then she heard me calling her. She climbed down and I have her a real bowl of milk. Yum! “When I was organizing my ideas, I was thinking about Kitten’s First Full Moon. First the author had Kitten see the moon, think it was milk, try different ways of reaching it, then finally drink a real bowl of milk at her house.” “It was nice having Kevin Henke’s book to help me organize my own ideas. I want you to be thinking about what ideas you will put into your writing. Think about what you think a kitten would do if she wanted a bowl of milk in the sky.” 3. Guided Practice: Whole group – The teacher refers back to the essential question: “If we were to write a book like Kitten’s First Full Moon, how can we use Henkes’ ideas and organization to help us?” The teacher listens and guides thinking to model the books organization. Then students create their own Tree Map (on their paper) while the teacher does the same on chart paper. The teacher records students’ ideas, while students are writing/drawing what ideas they want to use in their writing. The teacher continues the dialogue as a means of checking for understanding. When students understand the concept, the teacher will review the expectations and give modifications as needed. For example, the teacher will remind the students that everyone should be able to show their Tree Map (of organized story parts) and create their own writing. The teacher will remind the students how each child is a unique writer; some students may want to write about the same ideas as Henkes’, some students may want to write about Henkes’ character in new situations (like the teacher demonstrated) or some may be ready to create their own story line, using original characters and setting. All of these options are wonderful ways to be a writer!

Lesson 3, Page 3


4. Independent writing practice: Students are dismissed to their tables to work. As an enrichment modification, the teacher meets in a small group with students that are ready for a challenge. The teacher offers an example of using Henkes’ organization, but with students’ own ideas. For example: “You could write a story about a silly clown that sees the clouds in the sky and thinks they are fluffs of cotton candy. The clown could try climbing a fire engine ladder to reach it or wiggling up to the top of the tree. This is what my Thinking Map would look like for such a story.”

!

The teacher keeps the children in this small group until they are able to begin their independent Tree Maps and checks for understanding before releasing them independently. 5. Check for understanding: The teacher begins visiting students in small groups to guide their writing process. By this small group student conferencing, the teacher is able to scaffold instruction to meet individual needs. 6. Closure: Whole group – Students will return to the group with their paper and pencils. Students are invited to share their work with the group. The teacher often provides feedback that draws the students’ attention back to the mentor text. (“I noticed you wrote your story/picture like Henke’s; Kitten wanted milk, she tried to get it, then you ended with Kitten getting a bowl of milk.” Afterward, the teacher will ask if the students need any help in making any additions or changes (edit). Then the teacher will collect student work to create a class book for future reading (publish) in the classroom library. The teacher will ask the students to summarize, in their own words, how they used a book to guide their own writing of a story. The teacher will also ask students to think about some of their favorite stories from home or books they’ve shared in class that would be great to model their own writing after; specifically the story parts of character/setting. (Student ideas may include books like David Gets in Trouble, Ten Apples Up on Top or The Three Bears) Assessment: During the guided writing portion of the lesson, the teacher will keep anecdotal notes on students’ verbalized thinking processes and writing (Tree Map). The teacher will also write each child’s initials very discretely under what they wrote, so she can later recall what that student contributed. For the students’ independent writing, the teacher will use a rubric to measure student work against the expectation. For example: !

Lesson 3, Page 4


Modifications & Differentiation: For the writing process, the teacher will implement various modifications that are dependent on student needs. For example: • If a student needs help understanding the segmenting of words, the teacher will write a box for each word she wants the child to write. Then the child can focus on the writing and use the boxes to segment/space out the words. • For students that lack the stamina to complete the task, the teacher will scribe the portions of the story that are directly pulled from the mentor text; allowing the child to solely write out his/her original ideas. • For children that have mastered the organization of writing, they can create their own story line (see above in Independent Practice). Extensions: For extension activities, provide students with other mentor text (introducing different authors) to glean organization from, while they insert their own ideas. Some suggestions include: Imogene’s Antlers by David Small, The Biggest Boy by Kevin Henkes, or Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks.

References Buckner, J. (2000). Write from the beginning. Cary, NC: Thinking Maps. Dorfman, L. R. & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Henkes, K. (1995). The biggest boy. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Henkes, K. (2004). Kitten’s first full moon. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Hyerle, D. N. (1996). Thinking maps: Seeing is understanding. Educational leadership, December 1995/January 1996, 85-89. Small, D. (1985). Imogene’s antlers. New York, NY: Crown. Weeks, S. (2007). Mrs. McNosh hangs up her wash. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Lesson 3, Page 5


Lesson 4 Activity/strategy and Rationale: As mentioned by Dorfman and Cappelli (2007), after multiple readings, students can view a book through the eyes of a writer. By doing this, students use mentor texts to guide their own writing. In this lesson, students will borrow the idea and organization of a Kevin Henkes book to structure their own story.

Teaching Idea & Organization with

The Biggest Boy

This activity/strategy was selected to help students understand how to use a mentor text to generate ideas and practice an organization process to writing. By using the book The Biggest Boy and excellent teacher modeling, students can then use these two pieces to construct their own ideas and writing.

Objectives: The students will be able to use mentor text as a framework for their own writing. 1. Listen to the story and recall and sequence the events in the read aloud. 2. Examine the construction of the mentor text. 3. Create list of alternative story lines and plan the organization of their writing. 4. Compose a story modeled after the mentor text. Rationale for Lesson: Kindergarten students need explicit instruction on generating and organizing their ideas into written words. Matching quality modeling with step-by-step instruction exemplifies how the spark of an idea can be sorted out and written down for others to enjoy. Since emergent writers often struggle to stay on topic and/or organize their ideas onto a page, this lesson is designed to view a mentor text from a writer’s perspective and dissect the organization of it. Then, through teacher modeling and scaffolding, students compose their own ideas upon the structural framework of the mentor text.

Use Henkes’ book to spark imaginative writing

Instructional Materials and Resources: The Biggest Boy by Kevin Henkes Chart Paper Large sticky notes Student paper, pencil

Supporting Research: The students will listen to repeated readings of the mentor text and begin to view it through the eyes of a writer. “Mentor texts are pieces of literature that we can return to again and again as we help our young writers learn how to do what they may not yet be able to do on their own.” “They help students envision the kind of writer they can become; they help teachers move the whole writer, rather than each individual piece of writing, forward.” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2007).

“By introducing our young writers to the organizational scaffolds authors use, we can help them envision new possibilities for their own writing.” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2007). "As kids listen to stories and sometimes dramatize them or draw them, they get ideas of their own original ones or adaptations. Let s tuden ts k n ow s tories h appen everywhere - at home, in school, on the playground, on the bus, in the imagination. Stories get us going in our writing.” (Routman, 2005). The students will participate in guided and individual writing activities. “Kindergarten students are just beginning to be able to present a logical progression of ideas in their writings and will need much teacher modeling and mini-lessons to achieve this proficiency.” (Buckner, 2000).

The students will create a list of ideas (before writing) that follow the structure of Henkes’ book, to be used during their original writing. Lesson 4, Page 1


Instructional Steps 1. Focus Activity: Whole group – The teacher will present the mentor text and ask students to tell what they remember of the story. The teacher can turn the pages as student take turns retelling (in order) the events of the story. The teacher then asks students to pretend they are the authors of the book and to notice how the book is organized. The teacher is specifically looking for students to notice: •The main character, the boy, is with his family. •His parents are telling him he is a big boy. •The family imagines all the things he could do if he were the biggest boy. •He really isn’t the biggest boy. The teacher introduces how to make a list to organize ideas for a story. The teacher asks the students to retell all the things the boy and his parents imagined about being the biggest boy. The teacher scribes the students’ ideas. For example:

"!#$%&!'(!)*$+,-$./!0(1/2! "!#2$*!'02!*((3!(3!'02!0(1/2!$/!$!0$'!

! we use The Biggest Boy to help us write our own story about being big?” The Essential question: “How can teacher listens to students’ ideas. If students do not generate ideas based on transferring the frame of Henkes’ book to their own story, the teacher will revisit the text with the class and review the structure/organization of the story and explicitly tell how students can match up their ideas/writing to Henkes’ book. For example, “Boys and girls, in this book the boy has many wild and imaginative ideas about what it would be like to be the biggest boy. If you were to write a story like this, you would be the biggest boy/girl and you could write about the things you would do if you were enormous.” 2. Modeling/Input: Whole group – The teacher gives an example story, so students can see how writers use the storyline of a mentor text as a model for their own writing. The teacher’s example may go like this: “I want to write a story about me becoming the biggest teacher. I wonder what that would be like. I wonder what my normal sized students would do. My story is going to be a lot like Henkes’ but I’m going to make up my own ideas for being the biggest teacher.” “First I’ll make a list to help organize my thinking and ideas.”

"#$!%&''()"!*$+,#$-! .!,+--/!0/!1*23$4*1!*5!+!67$83!*-79! .!8$*!0/!1*23$4*1!1873$!35:4!*#$! *591!56!0/!1#5$1!+*!-$,$11!

! Lesson 4, Page 2


“I think it would be cool if all my students could climb in my hands and then I could just carry them to our field trips. I can imagine myself walking and being careful not to drop anyone and I’d take giant steps across the world – just like the biggest boy did in Henkes’ story. At recess, I would let my students use the laces on my shoes to climb to the top of my shoes and then slide all the way down the toe. Then I would end my story by showing me, as a regular sized teacher, so I could hug my students at the end of the day; kind of like how the biggest boy was regular sized at the end to kiss his parents good-night.” “Now, I will write a sentences to go with each idea. First I’ll write the beginning of my story, about being a giant teacher, then, I’ll add my own ideas and I can write an ending like Henkes’.” If I were the biggest teacher, I could do lots of things. I could carry my students to field trips. I would let my students slide down my shoes at recess. I am happy to be regular size, so I can hug my students good-bye. “When I was organizing my ideas, I was thinking about The Biggest Boy. First the author introduced the boy, then we read different things the boy could do if he was the biggest, and finally the boy was regular size.” “It was nice having Kevin Henke’s book to help me organize my own ideas. I want you to start thinking about what ideas you will put into your writing. Think about different things you could do if you were the biggest boy/girl.” 3. Guided Practice: Whole group – The teacher refers back to the essential question: “How can we use The Biggest Boy to help us write our own story about being big?” The teacher listens and guides thinking to model the books organization. Then each student creates his/her own list of ideas a large sticky note, while the teacher does the same on chart paper. The teacher records students’ ideas on the chart paper and the students write/draw what ideas they want to use in their writing. The teacher continues the dialogue as a means of checking for understanding. When students understand the concept, the teacher will review the expectations and give modifications as needed. For example, the teacher will remind the students that everyone should have at least two ideas on their sticky note and then they can create their own writing. The teacher will remind the students how each child is a unique writer; some students may want to write about the same ideas as Henkes’ or some may be ready to create their own story line, using original characters and setting. Both of these options are great choices for writers! 4. Independent writing practice: Students are who choose to follow Henkes’ storyline are dismissed to their tables to work independently. The teacher will meet with the few students that need an enrichment modification. This time of quick guided instruction will give the teacher an opportunity to make sure students are on track with their organization before they move on to independent practice. The teacher offers an example of using Henkes’ organization, but with students’ own ideas. For example: “Your story might be about what would happen if you could trade your feet for wheels. Your list might same something like: you could zip through the lunch line and bet everyone in a race.” The teacher will keep the children in this small group until they are able to begin their independent list and will check for understanding before releasing them to work independently. 5. Check for understanding: The teacher begins visiting students in small groups to guide their writing process. By meeting in small groups for student conferencing, the teacher is able to scaffold instruction to meet individual needs. 6. Closure: Whole group – Students will return to the group with their paper and pencils. Students are invited to share their work with the group. To help students loop back to the mentor text, the teacher will ask students explain how their peers’ writing relates to Henkes’ text. Afterward, the teacher will ask if the students need any help in making any additions or changes (edit). Then the teacher will collect student work to display in hall for others to read (publish).

Lesson 4, Page 3


The teacher will also ask students to think about stories that would be great to model their own writing after; specifically imaginative and fanciful stories from a personal perspective. (Student ideas may include books like A Bad Case of Stripes, Silly Sally or Skippyjon Jones.) Assessment: During the guided list-making portion of the lesson, the teacher will keep anecdotal notes on students’ verbalized thinking processes and writing. For the students’ independent writing, the teacher will use a rubric to measure student work against the expectation. For example: !

Modifications & Differentiation: For the writing process, the teacher will implement various modifications that are dependent on student needs. For example: •

If a student needs help understanding the segmenting of words, the teacher will write a box for each word she wants the child to write. Then the child can focus on the writing and use the boxes to segment/space out the words.

For students that lack the stamina or alphabetic knowledge of print to complete the task, the teacher will scribe portions of the story.

For children that have mastered the organization of writing, they can create their own story line (see above in Independent Practice)

Extensions: For extension activities, provide students with other mentor text (introducing different authors) to glean organization from, while they insert their own ideas. Some suggestions include: Harold and the Purple Crayon or Where the Wild Things Are.

References Buckner, J. (2000). Write from the beginning. Cary, NC: Thinking Maps. Dorfman, L. R. & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Crockett, J. (1955). Harold and the purple crayon. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Henkes, K. (1995). The biggest boy. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Routman, R. (2005). Writing essentials: Raising expectations and results while simplifying teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Schachner, J. (2005). Skippyjon jones. New York, NY: Puffin. Sendak, M. (1963). Where the wild things are. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Shannon, D. (2004). A bad case of stripes. New York, NY: Scholastic. Woods, A. (1992). Silly Sally. New York, NY: Harcourt. Lesson 4, Page 4


Lesson 5 Activity/strategy and Rationale: As students reread books and become familiar with the concept of viewing a book through the eyes of a writer (Dorfman and Cappelli, 2007), they can begin to use mentor texts to guide their own writing. In this lesson, students will borrow the framework of a Kevin Henkes book to structure their own story.

Teaching Idea & Organization with

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

This activity/strategy was selected to help students understand how to use a mentor text to generate ideas and duplicate the organization process. By using the structure of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, students have a reference for their own writing.

Objectives: The students will be able to use mentor text as a framework for their own writing. 1. Listen to the story and recall and sequence the events in the read aloud. 2. Examine the structure of the mentor text. 3. Choose a treasured personal item, describe it and justify why it should be used in their story. 4. Organize their ideas (Tree Map). 5. Compose a story modeled after the mentor text. Rationale for Lesson: Kindergarten students need explicit instruction on generating and organizing their ideas into written words. Matching quality modeling with step-by-step instruction exemplifies how the spark of an idea can be sorted out and written down for others to enjoy. Since emergent writers often struggle to stay on topic and/or organize their ideas onto a page, this lesson is designed to view a mentor text from a writer’s perspective and dissect the organization of it. Then, through teacher modeling and scaffolding, students compose their own ideas upon the structural framework of the mentor text.

Use Henkes’ book to motivate personal and reflective writing Instructional Materials and Resources: Lilly Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes Chart Paper Thinking Maps©: Tree Map Camera and printer for photos Student paper, pencil Supporting Research The students will listen to repeated readings of the mentor text and begin to view it through the eyes of a writer. “Mentor texts are pieces of literature that we can return to again and again as we help our young writers learn how to do what they may not yet be able to do on their own.” “They help students envision the kind of writer they can become; they help teachers move the whole writer, rather than each individual piece of writing, forward.” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2007). The students will use a Tree Map to understand the relationship between main idea and details in Henkes’ book, to be mimicked in their own writing. “By introducing our young writers to the organizational scaffolds authors

use, we can help them envision new possibilities for their own writing.” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2007). In Thinking Maps: Seeing is Understanding, Hyerle (1995/1996) demonstrates how the use of brainbased instruction (implementing the use of visual tools) can help students organize their ideas into coherent writing. When students are looking to show relationships between main ideas and supporting details, they can use a Tree Map to organize their ideas before writing. The students will use the writing technique of zooming in on one portion of the story (their favorite thing) and describing it with detail. “What we should point out to children is the need to develop their ideas first – the content – by writing about small moments of time.” (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2007). The students will participate in guided and individual writing activities. “Kindergarten students are just beginning to be able to present a logical progression of ideas in their writings and will need much teacher modeling and mini-lessons to achieve this proficiency.” (Buckner, 2000). Lesson 5, Page 1


Instructional Steps 1. Focus Activity: Whole group – Present the mentor text and ask students to tell what they remember of the story. The teacher can turn the pages as student take turns retelling (in order) the events of the story. The teacher then asks students to pretend they are the authors of the book and to notice how the book is organized. The teacher is specifically looking for students to notice: •Lilly, the main character, loves her teacher. •She has brings her purse to school one day with her new sunglasses and two shiny quarters, but the teacher won’t let her show the class until the end of the day. •Lilly disobeys and shows everyone in class. She gets in trouble. Then she gets mad. •After school Lilly feels badly for drawing a mean picture about the teacher and her parents help her make it better. •The next day, the teacher isn’t mad and Lilly feels better. The teacher introduces how the book can be sorted; by main idea and details. The teacher uses a Tree Map for visual representation.

Essential question: “If we were to write a story about our favorite thing, how can we use Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse to help us?” Teacher listens to students’ ideas. If students do not generate ideas based on the visual above, the teacher will revisit the text with the class and review the structure/organization of the story (and explicitly tell how students can match up Henkes’ book to the visual). For example, “This book is about Lilly and her favorite new purse. For this activity, “favorite thing” would be the main idea. Henkes’ tells us all about her favorite thing, with lots of detail. Those little things are the details.”

2. Modeling/Input: Whole group – The teacher gives an example story, so students can see how writers use the storyline of a mentor text as a model for their own writing. The teacher’s example may go like this: “I want to write a story about my favorite things. My story is going to be kind of like Henkes’ because I am going to write about my favorite things and describe them.”

“First I’ll use my Tree Map to organize my thinking and ideas.”

Lesson 5, Page 2


“I want to write about two of my favorite things. First is the gold locket necklace my grandmother gave me. You can open it and there is a picture of my dad and me. When you close it, you can hear it snap shut. The other thing I really like is the book “Old Hat, New Hat”. I think it’s really funny and I remember my dad reading it to me over and over again when I was a little girl.” “Now, I will write a sentence to go with each of my ideas on the Tree Map. First I’ll write a beginning sentence, so the reader knows what my story is going to be about. Then, I’ll write about my favorite thing; using describing words, like Henkes’.” I have two favorite things. I love my necklace with a locket. It is gold. My grandma gave it to me. It goes SNAP when you close it. My favorite book is ‘Old Hat, New Hat’. My dad used to read it to me. It is so funny! “When I was organizing my ideas, I was thinking about Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and how we learned the quarters were shiny and made a nice sound. I remembered the author described what the quarters looked like and sounded like, so I wrote what my locket looks like and sounds like.” “It was nice having Kevin Henke’s book to help me organize my own ideas. I want you to start thinking about your favorite things and how you will describe them.” 3. Guided Practice: Whole group – The teacher refers back to the essential question: “If we were to write a story about our favorite thing, how can we use Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse to help us?” The teacher listens and guides thinking to model the books organization. Then students create their own Tree Map (on their paper) while the teacher does the same on chart paper. The teacher records some students’ ideas, while students are writing/drawing what ideas they want to use in their writing. The teacher continues the dialogue as a means of checking for understanding. When students understand the concept, the teacher will review the expectations and give modifications as needed. For example, the teacher will remind the students that everyone should be able to show their Tree Map (drawings of their favorite things) and create their own writing. The teacher will remind the students how each child is a unique writer; some students may want to write about one favorite thing, some students may want to write about two of their favorite things or some may want to write a story like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, where they take their favorite thing to school and get in trouble. All of these options are great ideas for this writing project. 4. Independent writing practice: Students are dismissed to their tables to work. As an enrichment modification, the teacher meets a small group of students that wish to make their writing into a narrative form. The teacher offers an example of using Henkes’ organization, but with students’ own ideas and keeps the children in this small group until they are able to begin their independent Tree Maps and checks for understanding before releasing them independently. 5. Check for understanding: The teacher begins visiting students in small groups to guide their writing process. By this small group student conferencing, the teacher is able to scaffold instruction to meet individual needs. 6. Closure: Whole group – Students will return to the group with their paper and pencils. Students are invited to share their work with the group. To help students loop back to the mentor text, the teacher will ask students explain how their peers’ writing relates to Henkes’ text. Afterward, the teacher will ask if the students need any help in making any additions or changes (edit). Then the teacher will invite students to bring their favorite thing to school and have their picture taken with it. Then the children will glue their writing on one side of construction paper and their photo on the other and display on the classroom walls (publish). The teacher will also ask students to think about stories that would be great to model their own writing after; specifically imaginative and fanciful stories from a personal perspective. (Student ideas may include books like Owen or The Keeping Quilt.)

Lesson 5, Page 3


Assessment: During the guided writing (Tree Map) portion of the lesson, the teacher will keep anecdotal notes on students’ verbalized thinking processes and writing (Tree Map). For the students’ independent writing, the teacher will use a rubric to measure student work against the expectation. For example:

!

Modifications & Differentiation: For the writing process, the teacher will implement various modifications that are dependent on student needs. For example: •

If a student needs help understanding the segmenting of words, the teacher will write a box for each word she wants the child to write. Then the child can focus on the writing and use the boxes to segment/space out the words. • For students that lack the stamina or alphabetic knowledge of print to complete the task, the teacher will scribe portions of the story. • For children that have mastered the organization of writing, they can create their own story line (see above in Independent Practice). Extensions: For extension activities, provide students with other mentor text (introducing different authors) to glean organization from, while they insert their own ideas. Some suggestions include: Ira Sleeps Over or Peter’s Chair.

References Berenstain, S. & Berenstain, J. (1970). Old had, new hat. New York, NY: Random House. Buckner, J. (2000). Write from the beginning. Cary, NC: Thinking Maps. Dorfman, L. R. & Cappelli, R. (2007). Mentor texts: Teaching writing through children’s literature, k-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Henkes, K. (1996). Lilly’s purple plastic purse. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Henkes, K. (1993). Owen. New York, NY: Greenwillow. Hyerle, D. N. (1996). Thinking maps: Seeing is understanding. Educational leadership, December 1995/January 1996, 85-89. Keats, E. J. (1967). Peter’s chair. New York, NY: Penguin Putman. Polacco, P. (1988). The keeping quilt. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Waber, B. (1972). Ira sleeps over. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. Lesson 5, Page 4


Wonder&Spark Mentor Text Unit