Tuesday, March 2, 2010

That Workshop Book: Reflection 3

Literary nonfiction, research and sharing that research are huge units of study for both reading and writing in our district (and the state of Ohio) during third grade. Reading nonfiction can be really tricky for many readers- especially young ones. Most times, you are reading nonfiction for purposes different from those when you read fiction (namely, research). Not only are the students asked to comprehend what they are reading but they are expected to share it in an organized, factual, way. It is pretty tricky for most of my students to find their voice and share their research in a literary nonfiction writing piece. What better way to help them find their voice and create quality piece of purposeful work than MENTOR TEXTS!!?? Samantha Bennett really focuses on using mentor text to help scaffold final projects in That Workshop Book (pg. 63). I have created a collection of literary nonfiction books in my classroom that the kids have used to scaffold their research projects on the Olympics. These books have a variety of themes, layouts and ideas for sharing information. "Students learn to write by studying the craft and process of other writers."
Here are some of the books in our literary nonfiction collection:
First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre
Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
What is Science by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
This is Your Life Cycle by Heather Lynn Miller
One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre
On This Spot: An Expedition Back Through Time by Susan E. Goodman
Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre
Animal Dads by Sneed Collard
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston
Unbeatable Beaks by Stephen R. Swinburne
Flight by Robert Burleigh
Home At Last by April Pulley Sayre
Lives: Poems About Famous Americans selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

After sharing some of these stories as mentor text, the kids had lots of different, fun and personal ideas on how they might share their Olympic research. As Samantha says, "It provides a variety of entry points for their own writing" and sharing.

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