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Place is such an important idea in our reading and writing. For our elementary writers, learning various ways to capture all that you love about a place can support writing across units of study. This week’s Text Set will explore books that capture a specific place. These books can be studied as writers to discover new things to try as writers.
I always love starting any mini-cycle of study with wordless or nearly wordless picture books. Sidewalk Flowers and Wait! are similar in that they each follow a young child noticing the little things in a city/neighborhood. The idea of noticing those things that are worth noticing in a place, as writers is a good way to start this cycle.
The language in If Dominican Were a Color is amazing and the rhyming text works well. The thing I love best about this book is the way the author uses colors to describe so many things in the place she loves. The illustrations are amazing and there is so much to learn as a writer and as an artist in this one.
One way to share the joy of a place is to tell stories of the place. I love the book Marshfield Dreams as part of this study because Ralph Fletcher includes so many stories that give readers a sense of the place he grew up. I also love the map at the beginning of the book–this serves as a great mentor for writers –creating a map of a place is often a great way to think about ways to write about it.
Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge and My Two Border Towns are two new books about US/Mexico border towns that capture these cities in very different ways. Comparing two ways that two authors captured the joy and stories in different ways will invite great conversations about writing.
Saying goodbye to a place you love is always difficult. Both of these books capture the love of place and the feeling of loss in beautiful ways. Everything Naomi Loved make for an easier mini lesson because of its length, but Turtle of Oman is an incredible quiet read aloud for upper elementary students and almost any page can be studied as a writer. Pairing the two would be powerful.
This week’s books were linked at Bookelicious and/or Cover to Cover Children’s Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous local children’s bookstore to support, Cover to Cover is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio! If you don’t have an independent children’s bookstore in your town, check out Bookelicious. They are an online independent bookstore for children with an incredible curated collection.