Sunday, September 23, 2012

Illustration Study

We began Writing Workshop as a whole class during the first couple of weeks of school. In those sessions we worked on the basic idea of writing workshop and the kind of work we would do at this time. We covered what conferences are, talked some about how to get ideas for our writing, and looked at ways to stretch our ideas and add details. Then the workshop moved into our language group time.

For the first week in language group I have focused on some of the "nuts and bolts" of the workshop (drawing on a title from Lucy Calkin's Units of Study for Primary Writing.) For example, we had a lesson on stretching out words and recording the sounds we hear to generate spellings for words we do not know how to spell conventionally. (For more on this see an earlier post on generated spelling.)

Now we have begun focusing on an illustration study, looking at the illustration decisions that different authors and illustrators make and how those decisions can enhance the writing in the books. This study was inspired by Katie Wood Ray’s book, In Pictures and In Words: Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration Study. We have begun a chart of our "noticings" as we study different books. I love how the children often point out things that I had not noticed. They are sharp observers!