Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Cautionary Tale...

If that doesn't reel you in the actual story will do the job. I was recently introduced to the story cautiously written by Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny.  What a hilarious peek into a moment of a little toddler's tantrumous day. I couldn't help feel after hearing the story read aloud by Jeff Anderson, (yes, he was my teacher again, lucky me) that this would be a perfect mentor text for a small moment personal narrative.
To give you a summary, if you too have been unknowingly awaiting the tale of Knuffle Bunny, it is about a little girl named Trixie on an errand to the laundry mat with her father and her day is turned upside down when she realizes she has lost her beloved stuffed bunny.
Every child has a toy and every child could tell of a time when it was mysteriously missing. I can imagine asking what happened, hearing the emotions of the moment, where they found it, how the story came to an end. The stories would unravel as easily as a loose ball of yarn from their tender little story telling brains. I imagine I would have some tasty little examples of successful beginning, middle and end stories from my darlings following the mini-lesson. This will need to wait just a bit for most of my learners, as they are still only dipping their toes in the water of writing. However, I can smell a Mo Willems author study happening in say February or March and I can sense my anticipation too!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My First Try

I gave the Jeff Anderson technique a try with my kindergartners last week.  I used a mentor sentence from the book, A Chair for My Mother.  I invited them to notice and with few prompts they came up with quite a few things they knew about the sentence.  I was excited to see them get comfortable sharing simple sentence characteristics, especially since that was what I was going for.  Together, the next day, we did the invitation to imitate as a shared writing activity.  As my students begin writing more full sentences and sharing more in their writing, I look forward to doing the invitation to imitate on a more individual basis and celebrating their sentences.  It really amazes me what little 4, 5 and 6 year olds are actually capable of...and how so many people are still learning this fact!