Franki’s Weekly Text Set: Books to Support Notebook Writing-Volume and Variety

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There is nothing like kicking off notebook writing with young writers. I remember years ago, learning so much from Shelley Harwayne about the importance of “volume and variety”–how important it was for children to see all that is possible when launching notebook writing. So, the beginning of the school year in writing workshop means lots of invitations to try different kinds of writing-to fill your notebook with lots of different kinds of writing. This week, we’ll explore a set of books that invites writers to “give it a try”. I am adamant that these notebook lessons are always invitations and not have tos because a writer may have something pressing to write about. And by posing these as invitations, our writers can give things a try without a huge risk and see so many possibilities.

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is definitely one of my favorite picture books of 2022. Wow! What a book! I love this one for writing workshop because it is the story of a little girl who misses her Mommy, who is a way on a business trip. I love to use early in launching writer’s notebooks because there are so many ways young writers can connect, so many ways they can “write off” of the book. This book will spark lots of family memories and feelings and this is a great introduction to the ways stories can do that for writers, how stories can be great ways to get your writing brain to remember something that’s happened in your life that you might want to write about.

No matter the grade I’ve taught, list writing is a favorite for so many young writers. The Me I Choose to Be (this year’s John Steptoe Award winner!) and Daddy Speaks Love (two more favorites of 2022!) are great invitations to list writing. These books seem to me like lists turned into a poetry/picture book. Writers can follow the repeated lines in each book to write their own lists or think of another topic to write a list about. I like these as mentors because for those writers who love lists, they can see that a simple list can become a beautiful picture book too!

Yes! The Most Magnificent Idea was released this week and is a sequel to The Most Magnificent Thing-! I love this new one for launching writers notebooks because it addresses the problem of days that you have NO IDEAS! This happens to all creators and it is something that comes up early in the school year for writers. Even though the main character is not a writer, she uses all the same strategies to get ideas for making as a writer does for writing. So lots to talk about and explore for days when you are stuck as a writer. So many reasons to use this new book!

Arab Arab All Year Long, Berry Song and Tuesday is Daddy’s Day is a set of books that is perfect for helping writers think about traditions that are important to them. These can be traditions that happen annually connected to a holiday or big event, they can be things you do with a family member or friend at certain times during the year or they can be things that you do daily or weekly-those daily traditions that make your days happy. These three books are great for talking about the various kinds of traditions we enjoy, the reasons for the traditions, and the people we enjoy them with. Great invitations for thinking a bit about those important traditions-big and small.

Notebook writing helps us slow down and notice things in greater detail. These two books are great ways to talk about the various ways to write descipritons. Mommy’s Hometown is a description of a place while Wait-and See is more of an observation in-the-moment, a close look at something happening. When we talk about descriptions or descriptive writing, I want my writers to see lots of examples–so I could see a whole text set on different ways or things that authors and illustrators describe. The act of a writer to slow down and notice and find those perfect words is easy to talk about when introduced as description. Young writers often have fun with this type of writing–so many possibilities!

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.

Author: franki22

3rd Grade Teacher

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