Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Keeping Cool and Staying Warm

Our favorite letters these past couple weeks have been "b" and "r" as in brrrrr. Even though it's been cold outside, our reading and writing work are heating up.

Right before winter break we launched into a study of Kevin Henkes' work as author and illustrator. We are continuing that work and are now taking closer looks at his writing and artistic craft. Maybe you saw your child's drawing of Lilly? Thanks to Emily, my daughter, for coming in and sharing her art with us and helping us see the big shapes Mr. Henkes used to create a great character!

As we analyze what Mr. Henkes does as an author, we are trying to write in similar ways. Around here, we are reading like writers and writing like readers. Here's a few of the writing moves Mr. Henkes often includes in his books:
  • Mice are main characters.
  • Words and phrases are often repeated.
  • Storylines grow out of real-life occurrences from at home or school.
  • Humor adds enjoyment.
  • Characters change throughout the story.
We also noticed that Mr. Henkes does not just write about what happened. He adds more to his stories. To make his books really interesting, Mr. Henkes uses the following:
  • dialogue
  • description
  • thoughts
  • feelings
  • sounds
All this good writing work must be the reason Mr. Henkes just won a Caldecott Honor for his latest book Waiting. Wow, what an honor for him. And what an honor for us to be studying this author from Madison, WI! So here's to Kevin Henkes and here's to Seconds!!

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