Sunday, October 10, 2010

Launching First Grade Writers with Library Mouse

       First graders in Millie Pegram's class recently kicked off the year as writers with a read aloud from Library Mouse written by Daniel Kirk. After the read aloud, we discussed the main character's prime traits. Students were given a small piece of paper to write things that they wanted to note about Sam the mouse.  (See the photo below.)  Afterwards, students did a "think-pair-share" to foster learning how to talk about their reading ideas with peers. They used their written ideas and memory when they chatted. Next, students volunteered several things that they talked about. On chart paper, we chose to note that he was:

  • adventurous: Sam pretended and imagined adventures.
  • creative: Sam used his imagination to write several different kinds of books.
  • unique: He was a mouse that wrote! That is different!
      With each thought, the trait was written on a large sticky note. Under this flap, the support from the text for their observation was written. This tied in "SUPPORT" from our Patriot Power words featured during that week. Students loved the idea of possibly finding a book from Sam the mouse tucked in their classroom library! That added to their desire to make their own little special books. The students were shown by Sam that the children were authors as well when they came to meet the mysterious author on the "meet the author" day. When they looked in a tissue box, there was a mirror, reflecting the face of an author!

        The next day, Mrs. Pegram's students came in to find a bundle of little books for each one of them next to their own "Meet the Author" box like Sam's creation.  After they meticulously made their own unique books, students read them to each other and they are housed in a basket in the classroom library to enjoy. The students continue to make things and add to the basket, as they are all authors! They took their note jotting, book talking, and little book writing seriously. It was a joy to witness!

      Another way to use this series of books is to highlight the phrases used for the transition of time and sequencing. This poster was from my summer school class. (The "rental" of this author tissue box was courtesy of Ms. Mozgala. :)

       Children will also enjoy Daniel Kirk's other Library Mouse books: Library Mouse: A Friend's Tale and his recently released Library Mouse: A World to Explore.  I also enjoy showing the websites of authors that are kid friendly up on the screen to add to the excitement. Here's Daniel Kirk's official site:

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