This week I read two Valentine picture books. One that lots of you have talked about – I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder. The other one was Somebody Loves you Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli. I will share a story about this book tomorrow on my Slice of Life post but for today these are two great books to but on your teacher shelf of mentor texts.
They are great models for writing workshop. Haiku poetry is always loved by kids. It is an easy way to step into poetry. The topic of love, kindness and caring works perfectly. (Since so many of us are sitting with huge amounts of snow that is also a great topic for haiku writing. Here in Minneapolis we are getting another 4 to 6 inches this morning.)
Mr. Hatch has a great story structure that shows cause and effect. It is clear, simple and easy for students to use. A perfect story to begin to copy and then change the characters and details. I tell the students they are “writing into the story” to make it their own. They love it and we don’t have that blank page story starting.
My other reading was to finish Zusak’s the book thief. If you have been following me you know I have been slowly working my way through this book. (I know it came out in 2005) Yes, I started reading it then – no I couldn’t read it. I just re read the beginning several time but this time I finished it.
Late last night I sat in the dark as I completed the book with all the characters floating around me. Liesel’s words and stories filling my heart with so much sadness, and so much love. It was awhile before I could or was willing to leave that story.
I slowly came back to this world and thought about the power of story, the power of writing such a rich and complex text. I am in awe of Zusak. He, like so many good writers, took me into another world and into the lives of amazing people and time period.
So much to learn, to feel and experience through reading! If you have not read The Book Thief do so before you see the new motion picture. It is a story to experience through quiet, close reading first. Then to be shared, watched and talked about.
This week – I have lined up:
- finish A Snicker of Magic – I am already in love
- Stay Where you are and Then Leave
- Coyote’s Daughter
- We Were Liars