As our writing improved, we looked for a way to broaden our horizons. Studying the work of a real author gave us insight into the writing process. We are very thankful for Kari-Lynn Winter's help with our Authors as Mentors project. She sent us her unpublished manuscript for "Oh Ducky Day". We projected this on the board and analyzed a different text feature each day.
Introduction: Kayla's Mom, Kristi Owens, was our guest speaker. She talked about how she is an author who would like to be published, and how she goes about learning how to be better at her work. She made a great hand-out for us to share with our parents. The best part was reminding us that when we use our imaginations, we are constantly making up stories!
Monday: We read the text for the first time and responded. Everybody said they liked it, but few could explain why. We realized we needed to study what made it a good book.
Tuesday: We studied how the text was organized. We used our organizer, and were excited to see that the author followed the same order we did in our writing.
Wednesday: We read Fancy Nancy's Words and went to an online thesaurus to think about how authors choose the very best word. We reread "Oh, Ducky Day" and decided our favorite words were toddled/waddled, squabbled, squawked, a ducky idea, and "We've been goosed!" We didn't understand why the ducks were named Mallard and Pintail until out teacher explained that part.
Thursday: We talked about how all the words had to work together to create a picture in the reader's mind. At first we had been worried that the text wasn't illustrated yet, but we realized that every day that we read the story again, the pictures we created in our brain became more and more detailed. No wonder our teacher keeps asking us to reread! We drew our favorite parts of the story. You can see what an impression the words made on us!
Friday:We read Jeffery and Sloth, another of Ms. Winter's books, to see if we could notice any similarities. We wrote Ms. Winters an email, thanking her and asking her some questions about writing.