This year I tried a different approach: PICTURE BOOKS.
Each day, I grabbed a new, high-interest picture book to read aloud to my students. At first, I just read the stories and placed them on a shelf for rereading access. As time passed, students started noticing "good writer skills" such as alliteration, onomatopoeia, similes, metaphors, and vivid language. With each page, students would put a thumb up if they heard a good writer skill worthy of comment (if I was really with it, we could have recorded these down but I'm not quite there yet). I started reading the picture books at the beginning of each writing lesson.
I know, you're probably thinking "What's the difference?" Reading a chapter in a chapter book should take about the same amount of time as a picture book. I can't exactly explain the difference. Maybe it is the feeling of accomplishment for reaching the end of a book or maybe it is short problem-solution pattern of a picture book. Whatever the reason, it worked for me. I went from not reading aloud to reading aloud every day. Sometimes you just gotta do what works.
Here are some of my favorite read aloud picture books:
|Stellaluna by Janell Cannon|
by Janell Cannon
(anything by Janell Cannon)
|Owl Moon |
by Jan Yolen
|My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother|
by Patricia Polacco
|My Brother Martin |
by Chritine King Faris
|Henry's Freedom Box|
by Ellen Levine
|Mr. Peabody's Apples|
|The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles|