animals · book stack · picture books

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids’ version has been adapted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.

I’ve been grading my grad students’ craft tables, which is a project that carries the most weight for the class.  Craft tables are a way to organize one’s thinking about a book that will be used as a mentor text.  Craft tables are three columns.  The left column includes the craft move (aka: buzz word).  The middle column states the pages where the craft move can be found in the text (if it’s not paginated, then students do it themselves).  The right column includes an explanation of the craft move (in other words: why the author might be writing in a particular way).  Craft moves are a teacher’s way of developing theories about why authors wrote books in particular ways.  Since we cannot get inside of a writer’s head, we have to hypothesize why authors wrote in a particular way so we can help students write in similar ways. In order to explain a craft move to a child well, one needs to avoid jargon.   Hence, craft moves are a great way for teachers to think through the “why” behind the writing.

Some of my students are early childhood teachers who selected books I never used with my upper elementary students in writing workshop.  Three of the books they used, which I’ve had the pleasure to read closely and examine are:
  • Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
    • I heard Candace Fleming speak about this book during her presentation at NCTE in 2011.  I’m so glad I finally had a chance to read it, especially since we have some rabbits who like to visit our backyard, despite the fence.
  • Old Bearby Kevin Henkes
    • This one is available as a board book.  Can you say “Amazon Wish List?”
  • We’re Going on a Bear Huntwritten by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
    • I found a YouTube video of Michael Rosen performing the story.  Check it out by clicking on this link:  Michael Rosen and Bear Hunt.
I borrowed copies of these books from the library and am excited to share these books with Isabelle this week.  But first, I will finish my grading!
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7 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. Bear Hunt was one of my own kids’ favorite books…we spent many a long car ride and airplane trip reading and making up new “adventures” …. Interested to know how this could be used in a middle grade classroom, though.

    1. @Tara: Good to know your kids loved it. 🙂
      The student who used this book is a Kindergarten teacher. The craft moves she picked out were: alliteration, commas between adjectives, fragments, onomatopoeia, predictable patterns, print variations, punctuation, sensory details, sequencing, and vivid language with rich descriptions.
      Personally, I don’t think I would use this in a middle grade classroom. While I was a big fan of Knuffle Bunny for showing story structure to my fifth graders, I don’t think I’d use this one with kids much older than second grade.
      SUCH a cute book! I can’t wait to read it to Isabelle.

  2. I think you’re going to make my list just for Ingrid & Imogene grow ever long, Stacey. I know the Old Bear book (love Kevin Henkes books), & about bear hunts, but maybe not that book. Muncha, Muncha looks very cute. Thanks for the explanation too, & in Tara’s response. Do you believe, like some, that one should use the same book almost always for a mentor text? Or, does that change as the students mature & can handle more? Thanks for all!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I’m not sure what you mean by using the same book almost always. Do you mean across units of study, for an entire school year, or for multiple school years? Please lmk.
      Thanks,
      Stacey

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