Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reading Like a Writer with the Work of Patricia MacLaughlin

      Here is third grade teacher Ms. Katie Schultz, who is one of the teachers that I have been collaborating with this fall on writing instruction. In this picture, Katie is reading from Patricia MacLaughlin's book What You Know First. In this book, a girl reflects on how her life will change once her family moves from their prairie farm. Her father tells her that "what she knows first" in her life will be things that she will always remember. Katie charted the fabulous discussion she held with her student in their interactive read aloud.

     As an extension of the study of MacLaughlin's craft, I made a delivery of a "book borrowing gift" of MacLaughlin's newest chapter book, Word After Word After Word. This short chapter book features an author, Ms. Mirabel, who begins to visit a class of students to help them develop their writing skills. The way that she mentors five students is highlighted in the story, and the reader is shown how these characters find their inner author's voice. It's a great way to model how we foster the empowerment of writers in our own classrooms. It's available at the book fair, the media center, the public library, and I own a copy as well.

Additional Links for Patricia MacLaughlin:

At Dr. Johnson's ning for The Joy of Children's Literature, I started a discussion on Word After Word After Word. When you check it out, you can post comments on other books that you think are great for writing mini-lessons. :)

Here is a link to example "Golden Threads" from mentor texts by Patricia MacLaughlin.  (There are also examples on this same link by author Jane Yolen who I will be sharing about in numerous upcoming blog entries. She is one of my favorite mentor authors! :)

Sarah, Plain and Tall
Extract example "golden thread" lines from this mentor chapter book text that describe nature:

Here is a graphic organizer that can be used with this book:

All the Places to Love
A Great Mentor Text for Sentence Variety

Lesson: Special Places to Love - "Improving Sentences with Thoughtful Prepositional Phrases: 

Lesson: Introductory Prepositions and Places of Three

All the Places to Love Lesson Mentor Text Mini Lesson from David Stoner

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