Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I hope all of you have been following MK Johnston's series Learning the Basics "Chapter One" at a Time at Writers in Residence. This week's post will be Part 5 "Dialogue."
I'll be taking a short break to enjoy the holidays and return in January.
Here's wishing all of you the best of New Years.
Monday, December 14, 2009
How many times have you seen this Bumper Sticker -- "If you can read this thank a teacher."
It made me consider the flip-side of reading which is writing. What names would be on my Thank You list of teachers, mentors, etc. One of the questions I'm often asked is: "How did you become a writer?" In answer, I share a story from grade school about seeing my first poem published is a school anthology after it was recommended by my teacher. For an interesting look at the role a teacher plays take a look at the December 8th post titled Tofu Quilt and a Couple More Cool Teachers at A Year of Reading. You might have a name to add to the list of Cool Teachers in Children's Literature.
Here are the answers to Friday's Famous Firsts:
Friday, December 11, 2009
Just about anyone who has ever taken a writer's workshop has been told "Show, don't tell." That advice is offered so often because it is worth repeating. M K Johnston provides a comprehensive discussion of that topic in Part Four of Learning the Basics "Chapter One" at a Time in Thursday's post at Writers In Residence.
Here's Friday's Famous First:
1. "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."
2. "This story begins within the walls of a castle with the birth of a mouse."
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Picture books that are wordless or nearly wordless provide parents and teachers a wide range of experiences to explore with children. Turning the pages of a wordless book together with a parent is a entertaining way to allow the child to create a story, encourage the use of language and improve perception by studying the pictures for visual clues to the storyline.
Older students will find an opportunity to strengthen their writing skills by developing a narrative, creating characters and imagining dialogue based on the illustrations.
Here are a few titles worth a look: For younger children -
- Un-brella by Scott E. Franson
- Cool Cat by Nonny Hogrogian
- Jack and the Night Visitors by Pat Schories
- The Last Laugh by Jose Aruego
For older readers or to use as story starters:
- The Crocodile Blues by Coleman Polhemus
- Home by Jeannie Baker
- If you Lived here, You'd be Home by Now by Ed Briant
- The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
- Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman
- The Bored Book by David Michael Slater
Here are the answers for Friday's Famous Firsts:1. "From his perch behind the click, Hugo could see everything." The Invention of Hugo Cabret. by Brian Selznick.
2. "My grandfather was a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world." Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say.
Friday, December 4, 2009
And I hope you are keeping up with Learning the Basics "Chapter One" at a Time at Writers in Residence. Part 3 was posted to day and is an interesting discussion of Adjectives and Adverbs.
Here are Friday's Famous Firsts:
1. "From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything."
2. "My grandfather was a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world."
Can you name the title and author of these two Caldecott Award winning books?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Do you or have you ever had a writing partner? I have collaborated with a friend on several writing projects and I must say it was a marvelous experience. We were friends first and both of us had experience as writers so we were able to blend our experience, writing styles and strengths when we made the decision to work together.
For more on the topic you should visit Writers In Residence to read the excellent interview of Morgan St. James who writes the Silver Sisters Mysteries with her sister Phyllice Bradner.