Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Author Mentor...Lynn Plourde

Yesterday I gave my students a two column page and two books by our mentor. The student groups took to their places and scoured their books looking for things that they could use as a writer. Here is a list that we generated as a class:
1. She writes small moment stories-all of her stories could happen at school.
2. She uses comeback phrases.
3. She loves the seasons and creates imaginary characters out of the months.
4. She grows her story problem- it gets bigger and bigger like a mountain. And, then there is a solution.
5. She uses the dash, a lot. She also likes the exclamation mark and the elipses.
6. She uses letters to show how the character is feeling or the loudness of the voice. Gets bigger when their voice gets louder, and smaller when they are whispering.
7. Uses a lot of rhyming text and fancy words, words that roll off your tongue. She does this to make her words draw the reader into the story. (they actually said this!!!!)
8. The text on the page is placed weirdly on the page. I'm not sure if this is an editor thing or author sort of thing? Any ideas?
9. She loves sound words.

So today, I went a different direction, I went with the magical way she uses word groupings. We are going to do a few short practices together and then I'm going to have them have a go with it. It is so cool to see their growth from last year. They really get the idea of using an author to mentor them.


Kathy Douglas said...

I love this idea. I am currently writing lessons for Reponse to Literature for second graders. I am using Kevin Henkes as the mentor author. The curriculum says: Analyze An Author. So, I am thinking this kind of lesson will fit in that genre. What is your take on this?

Sarah Amick said...

Oh yea! Analyzing an author means to look at their series work and try to see the patterns:
Kevin Henkes:
mice, comeback phrases, protagonist characters and heroic characters, teachers are always heroic in his books, parents are also mentors in text, wonderful word usage, I could think of a 100 things about Kevin Henkes!
Finding series are great for struggling readers too because it supports their understading, their comprehension, they don't have to figure the characters out, they already have knowledge of them from previous books.