Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing Workshop

As many of you already know, I teach English as a Second Language and I just LOVE it. I teach students in grades K-5. Right now my 1st and 2nd grade students are learning about integrating their 5 senses into their writing to enhance their stories and to write just like authors do. Of course, the challenge is that these students are learning English as their foreign language and are building vocabulary in English as they are growing so the approach to teaching this unit is different than it will be to teaching students whose first language is English and might have more words, vocabulary to express themselves. So, having that in mind, I  need to not only teach the concept of writing integrating their 5 senses into a story but also building their vocabulary, extending their knowledge of adjectives in order for them to be successful. So, we took a couple of steps back, and last week, my students experience Senses Stations where they will go around different tables and use their senses in order to describe the different objects that they found.

Sense of Smell:  
some words we heard as they were "talking about it"...
smells like Ms. Villalba's perfum
smells like orange
and some children reacted to the bag of potpourri with words like:
yuck! nasty! gross! 

Sense of Hearing:
soft and loud
the bell reminds me of The Polar Express

Sense of Taste:
it taste like bubblegum...delicious!
Sense of Sight:
some sentences we heard: "Ms. Villalba looks like her mom!" She looks happy" Miss Ray is graduating!"
Sense of  Touch:
we heard some great descriptive words: furry, soft, cold. hard, squishy, cuddly!

Now that my students had a chance to use their knowledge of English to describe some objects using their 5 senses, it is time for students to experience how authors do this when they write. It is time for mentor texts! And this is where our love for children's books comes in so handy! I am so proud to be a blogger of children's literature and to surround myself with other teachers, professionals who use books in their classrooms, or library or school for similar purposes. Right now I have some great Margaret Wise Brown books, and some by Doreen Cronin to use as mentor texts for this unit. We will be "reading detectives" looking for clues, and words of how authors integrate this into their writing. Do you have any suggestions for me of other great children's literature I can use throughout this unit in writing workshop? other great read aloud picture books for grades k-3 that I can use as mentor texts? if you do, please leave a comment with your suggestion! I would love to hear from you. After all, this is what blogging is all about...learning from each other. 


Katie said...

Hi Stella! I found a few suggestions for you:

Senses in the City by Shelley Rotner would be a great book for talking about sensory vocabulary. Each page has a sense and a picture that goes along with it (i.e. Hear the sirens). The kids can use their sensory vocab to describe how the the scenes in the pictures might see, feel, sound, etc.

A book that is a great example of sensory vocab being used by an author is Night Sounds, Morning Colors by Rosemary Wells. Some of the words it uses are: wooly, sweetness, creaky, shiny, etc.

And one of my favorite books ever which I always think of when I visit your blog is My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo, a bilingual book by Maya Christina Gonzalez which won a 2007 Pura Belpre Honor for illustration. In this book, a little girl who lives in the desert has to open her eyes wide to find all the colors in her world!

blue said...

You should check out Discoverybox. They are great for Kids aged 9-12 and have 10x£100 Prizes in their Green Competition this month!