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along with us as we observe children in classrooms, listen to their stories, study the work they put on paper and use what we learn to inform our teaching´ (Horn and Giacobbe 1). The book, Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lessons For Our Youngest Writers, by Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Giacobbe is an informational book for aspiring or seasoned teachers to help shed some light on the benefits talking, drawing and writing have on students academic progression. This book talks about everything ranging from storytelling to drawing and writing a book, he craft of drawing, assessment, introducing booklets to students and how to forward students in their writing, talking and drawing careers. Through this book, teachers can view real lesson plans and read about classroom situations where an effective mini lesson, interactive read aloud or drawing and writing workshop took place. The first chapter starts off by explaining and en example all teachers can relate to, the task of asking students to tell stories through words and pictures, it¶s important to remember for teachers to encourage students to write and draw based off of what they know. It is also crucial that teacher, look and listen to their students to that they develop a better understanding of their student which in return will help the teacher help the student. I enjoyed the personal aspect of this book because it gave a lot of examples and scenarios in which teachers often find themselves and it gives educators ideas on how to advance a lesson plan and get students excited about the lesson. For example, in chapter
one, we find a kindergarten teacher, Ms. Danita, introducing a story to her students about planting a garden of Chinese vegetables. Danita goes on to say that the author and illustrator, Grace Lin wrote about planting Chinese vegetables because it¶s what she knows and that all good authors and illustrators write and draw what they know. Ms. Danita starts explaining a personal experience of her own that was triggered by reading Grace Lin¶s story, ³Danita is teaching writing. She is teaching her kindergartners that we all have stories to tell, that we tell stories about what we know, and that the most engaging stories are often about ordinary, everyday things´ (Horn and Giacobbe 8). Since everyone has stories to tell and children love to tell stories, any child can produce a successful story in their classroom. Telling stories also acknowledges talk and helps children orally learn about elements of craft before they even start writing on paper. Through telling stories, children learn that writers are specific in their information, order and organization is important, the audience matters, talking helps students talk their way through a story, and composing involves revising. I believe that story telling and listening to other tell stories is an effective jump start for children when it comes to creating stories of their own because the students are able to gather ideas and learn new strategies about writing that they can apply to their own narratives. In each chapter after introducing the purpose of the chapter, the text includes the full copy of a lesson plan performed by a teacher, which is extremely helpful for teachers because they can use that lesson plan as a guide for their own lessons and introductions about reading, writing, drawing and talking. In the second chapter, I appreciated that the authors gave scripted text on how to introduce the drawing and writing book to the
students. It gave me some useful ideas on how to approach a similar lesson with my students, I believe that teachers should use a ³drawing and writing´ book because the format is inviting, appropriate, organized and manageable, this will allow students to establish routines, expectations, and procedures. In chapter three and four, the authors help teachers understand the craft of drawing and how they can approach a lesson to introduce their students to proper drawing techniques to really bring their story to life. For instance, when children draw, they learn about objects and as their understanding for the object increases, their drawing becomes more accurate or detailed. Drawing helps students gain awareness about their thinking and is important because it is the beginning stages to demonstrate that children understand meaning, and drawing is a way in which children develop language. I especially appreciate this component of the book because being an art major, I understand the importance of drawing and the power and influence it has when it comes to teaching children how to write. Not only does drawing help illustrate a story, but children get excited about their drawings and are eager to share them with their teachers, and when they describe their drawings to other, their strengthening their oral language ability. Chapters five and six discuss writing words and assessments. Students can learn words just by labels in the classroom; teachers should label words around the classroom like the clock, desks, bookshelves and much more so students can start to gain an awareness of objects and how to pronounce their name. It is also important for teachers to encourage students to put words to their pictures to describe what¶s going on in the picture and not only encourage them to write u create a running record of their students to understand how they¶re advancing with writing. ³For example, ³The goal in looking at
children¶s writing is for us to be informed and instructed by our students: who they are as writers, what they know, and what they need to learn´ (Horn and Giacobbe 130). The purpose of chapter six is for teachers to understand the importance of assessing their student¶s work. Every time teachers talk and reflect with students individually, it gives the teacher a better understanding of their thinking process. Chapters seven and eight introduces booklets to students, discusses how to move students along as writers and how to engage students in the classroom. Introducing booklets are important because these booklets are effective because it¶s familiar to the students, they invite playfulness, it has a built in expectation that you have a lot to say on a topic, it offers a logical structure for teaching elements of craft, it makes revision easy, and it lends itself to writing sentences and paragraphs. After students have been introduced to the booklets, they need help being motivated and encouraged to write and it is important to observe students writing to make sure that their stories make sense, to see if they are writing about what¶s important, and to see if they¶re writing about a time and place and being specific with their stories. Chapter nine discusses the importance of mini lessons that focus on the craft of writing and reading ad how teachers should be enthusiastic while teaching students about narratives. It¶s important for teachers to educate students on the important parts of narratives so the students gain an understanding of how narratives are written. The important parts of the story should be important to the author, events that affected them in a negative or positive way; those are the events that should be focused on in detail. In order to understand this concept, the teacher should use an abundant amount of example to ensure that every student grasps the point of the lesson. Teachers can do an interactive
read aloud, stopping at certain points in the story to demonstrate the language the author used to convey the importance of the story. The book, Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lesson For Our Youngest Writers, is an amazing book for upcoming teachers and even seasoned teachers. It explains the importance of reading, writing and drawing, and gives lesson plans and examples to reinforce the purpose of the chapter. The book gives an abundant amount of teacher¶s experiences and stories for the reader to engage and relate and in addition to the experiences and lesson plans, the book also shows examples of students work to show how effective the lesson was. I would recommend this book to any teacher or aspiring teacher for it¶s in depth content and examples of effective lesson plans toe demonstrate proper teachings of reading, writing and talking.
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