I'm super excited that Stacia and Amanda at Collaboration Cuties are starting this linky. I ♥♥♥ BOOKS and there are always new books to find and new ways to use "old" books!
I'm going to start with one of my all time favorite authors, Cynthia Rylant. She is an amazing author and you will always find her books used in writing lessons as mentor text. I have a basket of books dedicated to her in my library. As you can see, I have a pretty nice collection!
I want to share three books in particular first. When I was Young in the Mountains, Christmas in the Country, and Alligator Boy. These books are a little extra special because they are illustrated by Diane Goode, my cousin. I had never met Diane until a few years back. I had corresponded with her early in my teaching career. When my sister and I attended NCTE in New York City a few years back, Diane was promoting a book there. We contacted her and were able to have lunch together. It was really wonderful. ( I had her sign my copy of When I was Young in the Mountains.)
Diane is seated in the blue shirt, my sister next to her to the left. Back row is my cousin, me, and another cousin we met on that trip for the first time.
When I Was Young in the Mountains, Christmas in the Country, and The Relatives Came are three of my tried and true books for teaching connections in both reading and writing. I use all of these books in our study of writing memoir. The kids can relate and talk about when they were young or a time they may have visited relatives or the traditions of a special holiday. I do tell the kids that all of these stories are Rylant's own memoirs. Teaching them to write from their own experiences, just like real authors do, is what authentic writing is all about. It is very rare that I give them a topic or prompt. I believe their best writing comes from what they know. I might give them an organizer to staple in their notebooks like this one from my memoir pack. I don't usually give any kind of form they HAVE to follow when writing.
In this pack, I reference the books Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, When I Was Young in the Mountains, and Patricia Polacco stories. (She has SO many that are great memoir examples.)
The kids really enjoy sharing their own stories about themselves and their memories. I usually share right along with them from my writer's notebook. I think it's very important for the teacher to write and share along with the class. Do you keep a writer's notebook?
Here are some great mentor texts I use when teaching connections and memoir:
Next I'm linking up with Farley for the monthly Currently. Here it is:
Ok the slime thing....my husband is our in school Tony Robbins (just not as rich). He is in charge of getting the kids pumped and motivated to play First in Math, an internet based math program. WELL, this quarter's winners got to choose a willing teacher to get slimed....3 kids picked me!! I'll post pics when it happens next week.
My newest rescue puppy has been very sick. My hubby has actually been sleeping on the couch with him for over a month. He is finally on the road to recovery!!
Report cards...procrastinating...enough said!
Be Yourself!! I know it's very "cliche", but it's what I believe. I am always myself. If you met me you would be meeting the person that I always am! I don't put on airs. I don't act one way at school and one way at home. What you see is what you get! I don't like when people are fake! It's one of my pet peeves!
So, that is it for today! If you are reading this you made it to the end. Thank you! The first 5 people to leave a comment will get my Memoir Pack! Leave me your email too!!