Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writing Workshop: Pattern Book Study

Stephanie Parsons has written a great resource for teachers called First Grade Writers. I especially love her unit of study on pattern books. This unit has helped my students begin to understand and feel successful noticing structures that authors and illustrators use to create a book. Studying different patterns connects so much of the thinkingwe are already doing as readers (noticing the repetition in text and the supports certain books have for early readers) and as mathematicians.

This month, I decided to use Stephanie's pattern study chart in my own classroom
with some of the books I thought would support writers. The kids have been creating books using the ideas from authors like Melanie Walsh's Do Lion's Live On Lily Pad's to create their own question answer books like Do Dogs Live in the Forest and Do dogs Live in the Park. Other students have created list books like 11 Uses for a Dog and 5 Uses for a Dad after studying 31 Uses For a Mom by Harriet Ziefiert. This study also allows all kids to enter the study. Students who are ready for more depth can use more sophisticated structures and other students who are beginning to understand patterns can create simple (that may just have repeating words and a clever ending) text and feel successful.

This week have started the practice of editing and revision while the kids have chosen one of these books to go back and fix up for publishing. I am so intrigued with how thorough this group
seems to this year. They are teaching me to slow down and really spend time with this study. I can't wait to feel the energyduring our family night when the kids will share their books witheach other and all of our families.


Cathy said...

So funny! I came home tonight with my student writing in hand. I sat down and went through folder after folder pleased with the results of our illustration study. However, I realized students needed to begin to understand "story". Of course, it has to be said that many of the books students read do not follow a story-like pattern (beginning, middle, end). Books are written with many more structures. I decided the first thing students needed to understand was the difference between list-like writing and stories. I then made a list of other structures I might want them to know. Then I went to your blog and found this. Perfect! Thanks again for keeping my workshop moving.


Tara and Dale said...


This is going right to our first grade teachers come Monday morning as they are doing a similar unit right now. As always, inspired by what you are doing and sharing with others! Tara from TLC