Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mentor Text: A Chair for Mother

I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties to share one of my favorite Mentor Texts.

A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams

This story is such a sweet story and really hits home to students living in poverty. 

Amazon's summary explains the book perfectly:

After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save and save until they can afford to buy one big, comfortable chair that all three of them can enjoy.After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy. "A superbly conceived picture book expressing the joyful spirit of a loving family."--Horn Book.

Here's how I used the book in my Reader's Workshop AND Writer's Workshop.

We zoomed in and took a look at the pictures in the book.  I explained to students that sometimes the Illustrator draws a picture to help the reader feel like the character in the story.  I pointed out specific pages like this one:

This is what the little girl in the story would have seen.  Notice how the illustrator didn't draw the girl in the picture.

There is also another great picture in the story of the chair in the store.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture of that.  But trust me, it's great for this lesson.

That was mini lesson for Reader's Workshop.  "Pay close attention to the illustrations.  They are trying let you see things from the character's point of view." 

Onto my Writer's Workshop Extension later that day.

We went back to the book during writing time and reviewed the Character's Point of View in pictures.  
I then explained to students that we would be making a class book about new shoes.  (My students share all.the.time. during our family meeting that they bought new shoes/are going to buy new shoes/ or want to buy new shoes!)
I made a connection to Pete the Cat...who loves his new white shoes!

To say they were excited about this assignment was an understatement. 

We all stood up and looked down at our shoes.  As illustrators, today, we needed to show OUR (the character's) point of view.  What do you see? The top of the shoe.  The laces.  The tongue. (ew!)

Then, I modeled how to draw what I saw.  I purposefully made mistakes and erased so that my students would see that it was hard to get it just right but to keep trying.  

For the writing part, I encouraged them to use lots of adjectives (another great review!) to describe the shoes to the reader.

Then I sent them away to begin their book page.

Here are a few examples!

"They are cool and better than my old shoes"

"They are black and white.  They have holes to put the shoe laces."

"I will take (them) at the basketball (game)"

"I love my new shoes"

These shoes are high heels!  
I absolutely love the toe nail polish! 
To cute!

These shoes are football cleats.  Notice the football field in the background?
I asked the student where the other shoe was and they replied, I'm running, so the other foot is off the ground behind me!
Too clever :)

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  2. I have heard of this book and I think I've only read it once, though. I love the activities that you did with it. I'm pretty sure I have it in my collection. I will have to pull it out and do something similar!! This looks great!

    Thank you so much for linking up!!!
    Collaboration Cuties