The piece I am sharing today came from a journal entry that I found about being a district coach and realizing that many people felt that kindergarten children were too young to actually "write". I knew that wasn't true. Today's blog is that journal entry from 2009.
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 authhor 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 six-seven of his books. Some they had seen. Some they 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. They came up with:
He wrote the words AND drew the pictures; He wrote lots of words on the same page; He wrote few words on some pages; He wrote about what he knew.
We put a picture of the book cover on the chart and listed our finding next to it. 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.
Next day, we reviewed and then read Whistle For Willie and made another list. We put the picture of the cover on our chart. We found ellipsis. We found the same character: Peter! Then we wrote...Matthew wrote "Chapter Two" on the front of his book. It was about him and his dad playing an alien game. 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, punctuated correctly.
Now, you really want to tell me kindergarteners can't write? Don't tell that to Mrs. B's class!