The Unit of Study for kindergarten in our district this month is: Authors as Mentors. Here's how I look at that: pick an author and become familiar with that work. What does the author do that I could try in my writing? Sound too difficult for a small child just learning letters and sounds?
In Mrs. B's classroom this week we started letting Ezra Jack Keats be our writing teacher. I found some pictures of him and placed them on our chart. I then showed the class 6-7 of his books. Some they had seen. Some the had heard.
We read The Snowy Day. It was perfect for the weather we were having. Then we discussed what he did in the book that they could try. We put a picture of the book cover on the chart and listed our findings next to it. They came up with: He wrote the words AND drew the pictures; He wrote lots of words on some pages; He wrote few words on some pages; He wrote about what he knew.
Then we wrote. Our conference question was: What are you doing today that is like Ezra Jack Keats? They knew. At sharing time we simply gave a thumbs-up if we did one of the items on our list.
The next day we reviewed and then read Whistle for Willie and made another list. We put the picture of the cover on the chart. We found the ellipsis. We found the same character: Peter.
And we wrote....Matthew wrote chapter two on the front of today's book about him and his dad playing an alien game. He had written the first chapter yesterday. Garrett had on the front cover of his book: illustrated by Garrett. Tabby had a page with this: Tabby said "I want to go with you." Yes, she had it punctuated correctly.
Now, you really want to tell me that kindergartners can't write? Don't tell that to Mrs. B's class!!