Even though it's January, some of my third and fourth graders still frequently struggle with generating or brainstorming ideas on what to write about. (We did do a "detour" from Lucy's plan and do expositiory writing for a while. So, we're just getting back into the swing of narrative writing.) I know part of the problem is that many of my students have so much to worry about every day that they see many stories in their life as being too old and therefore not relevant. But I cannot do anything about that.
Attached are Writers Workshop Book Lists that I created labeled by grade level. Each list is differentiate by Lucy Calkins Units of Study as well as Comprehension Skills and is useful for anyone needing to teach a specific type of literacy lesson.
I love the author David Shannon, who's well known for No, David. Yesterday, I read his book Duck on Bike to model writing a WASL (Washington's state assessment) short summary with three main events. As I read I emphasized the inner thinking and thought to myself, "This would be a great mentor text to show inner thinking. There's inner thinking on almost every page!" :-) All the animals have their own opinions about Duck's trick, which they only share in their thoughts.Want to try it?
I just finished reading Because of Winn-Dixie by the amazing Kate DiCamillo. If you've read anything by Kate DiCamillo you know that her stories are worth reading to children of just about any age. If you need some convincing, here are some other ideas.