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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chapter 7 Ideas & Content, In Pictures and In Words

Chapter 7 has been the longest chapter so far but really the FASTEST read because it provides authentic examples I can envision myself using in the classroom.

I love the simplicity of the example Ray provided, Henkes' book Birds, there are definitely techniques within this book that kindergartners could try! This would also be a good text to practice inferencing.

Idea work has been a little difficult for some kids. I can always give them suggestions but it is so much more fun & exciting when they come up with their own ideas. Many times, one student will tell their idea & then 5 copy it! Which is fine, but I look forward to the end of the year when they have had many more experiences & are able to express these ideas in their compositions.

On pg 96, Ray points out the parallel between writing & illustrating again- "At its most basic, writing relies on the writer's ability to generate ideas. At its most basic, illustrating relies on the illustrator's ability to generate ideas." Writers & illustrators make so many of the same decisions when composing & have to branch out from their original ideas to create content.  I am excited to do more think alouds this year. I think this will help my kids understand more why I made the decisions I did in my compositions.

I want to start asking the kids all the questions provided on pg 97 BEFORE they begin independent composition:
What, exactly, will I picture in my picture?
Will I use a single illustration, or multiple, separate vignette illustrations?
Will I zoom in very close or zoom out & show a wide angle? (perspective- I love the Hemingway passage!)
Will I picture my subject from the front or the back? From the side, perhaps? From above or below?
How much background detail will I use for the central image? Lots, or none at all? If none at all, should I leave it white, or use another color?
Will I stick close to the words, or will my illustration extend them in some significant way?

My favorite thing about the techniques provided is the "In a Teacher's Voice: An Idea for Trying It Out". These SPECIFIC, concrete examples give me great ways to incorporate the techniques.

Crafting with Positioning Perspective- this sounds so much like studying the various writing structures in Ray's Writing Workshop book. The illustrations that tell the position are focused around prepositions which is an important ELA concept taught in kindergarten. :)

I love the technique of showing two sides of a physical space---some ways I'm thinking of helping my students use this---a window, mirror, water reflection, ray of light/sun...

Using scenes to show movement through different places---This is a great way to teach sequence of events!

Manipulating Point of View for Effect---My kids did this last year with captions. I showed them funny animal captions on the internet that went with various photographs. Then they created their own captions to go with pictures. THIS WAS A HILARIOUS LESSON! :)


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