Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mentor Text: Big Plans

Can anyone say "Writer's Workshop Rocks?"  It does and so do my kids!  They even left sticky notes all over my pants during today's mini-lesson that said "Mrs. Lutzke ROCKS!"  How cool is that?  I want to keep them on all day, but they keep falling off, so now they are attached to my computer, making me smile all over the place.

Today's focus is on VOICE.  This is one of my favorite skills/traits to teach because this is where you let your writers know that it is so very ok to be themselves and let that float out of the pen during our writing time.  In fact, being able to hear your writer's voice is expected.  Expected (with a capital "e").

Some of my very favoritist (my word) authors...the ones I want to EMULATE, are Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.  In fact, any time either one of these knuckleheads are involved in writing or illustrating a book, I must have it...yesterday!

Have you checked out this book:  Big Plans?  It's written by a guy named Bob Shea (who really doesn't sound like a ton of fun, but is!) and Lane Smith.  My kids loved this book so much and they found so many concepts and teaching points that it covers:

  • Voice
  • Show, don't fact, when I finished the book as a read aloud, the kids didn't really know what the big plans were! We had to really go back to read the tone and dialogue with the skunk hat and the myna bird to get what the boy's big plans really were.  This was an AWESOME lesson, initiated by my writers!
  • Seed ideas vs. watermelon ideas.  My writers found it very interesting that, while the book really could have become a watermelon story, it really focused in on a singular idea:  the big plans of one very small and very driven kid.
  • Zoom in on the details   
You know you want to check out this book, so why not hop on over to pick one up for yourself?  I'd highly recommend checking out your local library as well, but I know that I picked my book up at Half Price Books for about $3.99.  It's also a "bargain book" at

Have fun and devise your own BIG PLANS!


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