I am joining up with the Mentor Monday Linky highlighting books that focus on the teaching of memoirs. Krista is actually guest hosting it this week from Emily's blog, and I love the organizer she created to get started with memoirs. I think the best way to get started with a memoir is to use mentor texts and to model it through your own writing. Actually, I believe this is the best way to get started with any unit: mentor texts and modeling.
What picture would I use for my small moment right now? Well, this one of course! Our baby will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. I can already think of many different moments to write about. And memoirs were a perfect topic for me to brag and share about our absolutely perfect little guy!
Okay, back to the classroom application. My go-to texts for memoirs is always Patricia Polacco - and maybe to a fault - but I just love her style of writing and the messages in her stories. I love how she depicts a moment so vividly and can pull a reader into her life so quickly. I think Polacco is best used for the older grade levels since the text complexity is a bit higher. With so many picture books, she has many options to choose from, too, which is why I like to have a collection in the room that students can read independently if they choose.
Two of my favorites are My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother and The Junkyard Wonders. I like these because one is about family and siblings which a lot of students can relate. The Junkyard Wonders is an amazing story about a group of "special" students or misfits, who realize they are truly genius-level thinkers and creators.
One Big Teaching Tip for Successful Memoirs by your Students:
- Give them many opportunities to discover their topic. The topic(s) they choose to write about needs to be memorable, special, important, or hit home. They need to be passionate about it and want to write about it. Students will spend a lot of writing time with this moment, so don't force something for the sake of time. Give them several mini lessons with mentor texts depicting various moments to spark their own memories and find something they just can't wait to talk about, write about, revise, and share.
Gotta run, well actually walk right now, but soon enough! The baby and I are going to head out for a walk despite the 40 degree temps here in Indy! At least it's sunny.