Monday, October 15, 2012

Words, Glorious Words

I don't know about you but the hardest part of my job right now is teaching writing. The kids either love to write and won't stop...even when they've gone wildly off topic... or they won't even pick up the pencil. One of my goals this year is to really build their vocabularies and hope (pray, fingers crossed) that it transfers to their writing. But I've done the explicit vocabulary instruction, the "colorful words" charts, etc. and decided someone else could probably do a better job of it.

And who might that be, you ask?  Edward Tulane. More specifically, Kate DiCamillo, author of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I decided to jump straight into really good chapter books as read-alouds... chapter books full of challenging vocabulary. Edward Tulane just happened to be the first one I tried and wow, did it pay off.  First of all, the kids were totally captivated by this book. I even had two little ones cry in the middle of it (Not that I want to make my students cry.) and they begged, yes BEGGED, me to read it as soon as they got to school every morning. But the vocabulary... that's the best part!  We talked about all of those big words and we practiced using them and they put them in their writing notebooks. And guess what...I'm seeing them in their writing, along with other fantabulous words we've come across in books.

So, first I'd like to suggest reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to your class. But I'd also like to ask for your suggestions. Do you know any really great chapter books that will challenge our kiddos to think harder and deeper?  Leave me a note if you do. I'd love to hear what must-have books are on your read-aloud list.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for following! I'm following you now too. I really enjoy looking at blogs by people who know what they're doing! lol

  2. That is so great that you got your littles to get into writing! I have a few "reluctant" writers and I try to get them excited but it is a struggle.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am your newest follower, welcome to the fab blog world!
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

    1. Thanks for the welcome and for following me! I think I'm going to like blogging. Isn't writing hard with the little ones? Some of them just aren't ready.

  3. I love finding new books to check out! I love the book the Memory Box. It is great to have your kiddos make one and then they can also have something to write about. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I think when I need a beach break I'll hop over here and hang out! =)

    If you get the chance, I would love for you to hop over and visit me.

    Heather's Heart

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Heather! I'll see if my library has The Memory Box. I'm almost ready to start on a new book with my class.

      I checked our your blog and am following you too. You have some really cute ideas!