Kevin Henkes Author Study
Over the past few weeks, our Reader's and Writer's Workshops have been immersed in the works of Kevin Henkes. Characters such as Chrysanthemum who is named after a flower gets made fun of at school and Lilly who is asked several times by the teacher to put her items away during class, and Owen who loves his blanket so much but is getting ready to go to school and cannot take it with him - are all characters that the children are making meaningful text-to-self and text-to-text connections. Finding so much in common with these characters make them real and lovable to the students.
We have been working on story elements (the characters, setting, problem, order of events, etc.) using graphic organizers. They have also been comparing and contrasting books and characters using Venn Diagrams. By learning to use these organizers in Reader's Workshop, it helps to develop their stories in a Response to Literature in Writer's Workshop. A class developed Response to Literature rubric was created in order for students to gauge how their writing compares to a standard response. These responses include a great beginning that makes sure to have the author's name and in the first few lines of the response. They learn how to start with a question or statement. The response also has a short retelling or summary of the story with a connection and then a closing which can give a personal feeling from the book.
We can't wait to share these writing responses in future posts and we know your response will probably be like that of Mr. Slinger's in Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse when all he could say was --"Wow"!