Thursday, May 8, 2014
Library Mouse Gets 3 Stars but it's a Great Writing Lesson
As I said before, I am an avid library checker-outer; though, I personally think all librarians should be. The same goes for reading books, I personally think all librarians should read books.
Since I am a teacher and a librarian (aka school librarian being my favorite job in the whole entire world) I constantly read books and think how it can apply as a lesson for the library or in the classroom.
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk gets 3 out of 5 stars in my book. It's a bit wordy in my book, but it's a cute enough story and it is absolutely perfect for a teacher to use at the start of the school year or even here at the end of the year for a writing lesson.
Ideally I would say this writing lesson would be for 4th grade b/c they focus so much of the year on writing. However, it could be flexible in as early as 2nd grade and as late as 5th grade.
The basic lesson from this book is that anyone can be an author; you just need to write about what you know. However, reading a lot of books helps you to be a good writer as well.
A teacher could start the year and writing block with this picture book as a read aloud. Then really dive into the writing process having each student write his or her own book. When the students finish their books they can be on display in the library (classroom or school) for others to see and read just like in the book.
However, a teacher could just as easily end the year, and do a big "writing project" to have each student write a book. Since the end of the year, and after state tests are finished , the schedule gets a little crazy. A teacher could really have more of a "writing block" time for students to become authors, complete the entire writing process, and finish a book.
Personally, both times of year could work really well; it is really just up to the teacher to see how they want to organize it. I always loved doing a big project at the end of the year to keep the kids focused on one aspect. Writing a book would be a fun and beneficial activity at the end of the year.
Amazon had the following book review:
"Put a mouse in a library and you have a sure seller; make the mouse a writer and you have a sure-fire hit. Sam lives in a hole in the wall behind the children's reference books. During the day he sleeps, but at night he reads all kinds of books. One night Sam decides to write and illustrate his own. He writes about himself, and he draws his likeness, posing in a little mirror and sketching what he saw. He slips Squeak! A Mouse's Life into the biography section. A girl finds it and shows it to the librarian, who is intrigued. Then Sam writes more: The Lonely Cheese and The Mystery of Mouse Mansion. Increasingly curious, the librarian posts a note on the bulletin board, inviting Sam to Meet the Author Day. What is Sam to do? His delightfully unexpected solution will inspire kids to write their own stories. In a rainbow of colors, the art, which features a slightly flattened perspective, ranges from small oval pictures of Sam busily sharpening pencils with his teeth to full-page views of the busy library. One great picture shows Sam's face filling the page, dark eyes alight and white whiskers bristling. It's a show-stopper. This is ready-made to introduce a classroom writing activity, though some of the pictures are too small to be appreciated in a large-group readaloud. Even so, this is fun, fun, fun."
So, if you are looking for a good writing lesson here at the end of the year, or the beginning of a school year pick this book up.