Saturday, June 23, 2012

In Pictures and In Words first six chapters book study

Go to this link at Mrs. Willis Kindergarten to join the book study!

My Thoughts on the First Six Chapters:

How might you explain to students that illustrating is composing?
I think children know that they tell stories though their pictures.  Just ask any kiddo who has drawn something that you can’t make heads or tails of and they can tell you all about it.  And if you every guess what it is WRONG, watch out because they will look at you like you are the dumbest grown up ever for not being able to see what they see in their drawing.  Teaching them to add words to their drawings is just the next natural step in their love of “drawing”. 
How might your attitude towards writing affect your students’ willingness to write?
While reading the first six chapters I was struck by how the author related her apprehensions about writing to children’s apprehension about writing.  I know I have wanted to write a book, but have always been stopped by my fear of the blank page, of how to organize my thoughts and how to choose the right words.  I forgot that children feel the same way.  If I am apprehensive about writing/spelling (I am not the best speller in the world) then I must be subconsciously relaying that attitude to the children.  Maybe this year during writing workshop I will work on writing my book.  That might be a great way to work on my stamina and encourage the children and lead by example.
How might you help students build stamina in their writing?
I believe encouraging children to work on illustrations will help build their stamina.  Children are inherently drawn to drawing, even the youngest children I have worked with.  Also, I am building my library of books of great illustrators, and I know this will help children have more focus when writing/illustrating.  It is easier to write for longer when you have a focus.  Most of us learn through copying someone else's style.  Having the opportunity to practice lots of different styles helps the child develop their own.  It kind of goes back to the “blank page” syndrome.  Having something to model from gives a direction and direction leads to longer time spent on a project.  This builds stamina and having many new styles to explore leads to the children developing their own style of illustrating and writing.
What language might you use with your students talk about reading like a writer, both as a writer of words and pictures?
I am not sure about what language to use (thus one of the reasons I wanted to join this book study).  I do know I am starting to study the illustrator’s and research their blogs and websites.  I want the children to be able to do this type of research as well.  I think a lot of rich language and vocabulary expansion will come out of this study.

Name several books (not previously mentioned in this text) you would gather for your classroom’s units of study on illustration.
My boyfriend’s son is a librarian in Richmond Virginia.  He was telling me about this great book with an awesome illustrator. 


From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4–A wave deposits an old-fashioned contraption at the feet of an inquisitive young beachcomber. Its a Melville underwater camera, and the excited boy quickly develops the film he finds inside. The photos are amazing: a windup fish, with intricate gears and screwed-on panels, appears in a school with its living counterparts; a fully inflated puffer, outfitted as a hot-air balloon, sails above the water; miniature green aliens kowtow to dour-faced sea horses; and more. The last print depicts a girl, holding a photo of a boy, and so on. As the images become smaller, the protagonist views them through his magnifying glass and then his microscope. The chain of children continues back through time, ending with a sepia image of a turn-of-the-20th-century boy waving from a beach. After photographing himself holding the print, the youngster tosses the camera back into the ocean, where it makes its way to its next recipient. This wordless books vivid watercolor paintings have a crisp realism that anchors the elements of fantasy. Shifting perspectives, from close-ups to landscape views, and a layout incorporating broad spreads and boxed sequences, add drama and motion to the storytelling and echo the photographic theme. Filled with inventive details and delightful twists, each snapshot is a tale waiting to be told. Pair this visual adventure with Wiesners other works, Chris Van Allsburgs titles, or Barbara Lehmans The Red Book (Houghton, 2004) for a mind-bending journey of imagination.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The illustrator is David Wiesner and this is the link to his website. 

This is the link to the website about his book Flotsam. 

I will be using this illustrator as our first illustrator study this fall.  I am beginning the year with an ocean theme and this book will go a long way toward introducing different ways of illustrating a story.  Just look at these illustrations!  After reading the first six chapters of In Pictures and In Words  I became so excited to look at this book again.  I started looking at all of my books in my children's library in a different way.  Let me share some of the illustrations with you.

So many great tiles.  Love how the story is illustrated in sections.  I never would have noticed this if I hadn't joined this book study!

Look at the eyeball.  What great perspective!

Look at the point of view on this picture!  It makes me feel like I am actually in the ocean looking up into the sky!

The book and the illustrations will lead us into using a camera to document the school (I will be teaching Kindergarten this fall so they have lots of places around the school to discover).  Hopefully this will help them become better observers by focusing on the school through the eyes of the camera lens and it will also show me how they see the world around them.  I have done this before and you can go to this link to see how my Pre-K kids used a camera to document the world around them.
A Winter Walk  here are a few pictures from that post that the children took with the camera on the walk.  They later used the pictures in a class book and to reference when doing journal writing!

Here is a link to another blog post that shows the kiddos drawing/illustrating from real life when we hatched chicks!

Talk about stamina!  These three to five year old students spent up to fourty minutes drawing the chickens!  We did this on multiple days and made a class book  out of the drawings.

This shows children at different stages of writing.  I had a three to five mixed age mixed ability classroom.  I love this picture!

This child is starting to use letters to record thoughts.

Showing off their drawing to the subjects!

I really enjoyed the first part of the book study and I am really looking forward to the rest of it!