Sunday, September 18, 2011

Writing Our Own Pigeon Story

During our week learning about Mo Willems and his pigeon books, I mention writing our own pigeon story to my students. They went crazy about the idea. We've only completed the cover and first page, but I have never seen my kids so excited about writing. I feel it is very important to teach kids how to express their own ideas in a story that is all their own. The pigeon books have made this task very engaging and exciting for my class. 

To begin, we decided if we wanted to write a "Don't Let the Pigeon . . . " book or a "The Pigeon Finds . . . " book. The children decided they wanted to write a book about the pigeon finding something. So we explored the book The Pigeon finds a Hot Dog. We focused on the cover. 

What is on the cover?
1. The Title The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog
2. A Picture
3. The Author and Illustrator's name

We followed these "guidelines" to make our own cover.

The cover of our book was very teacher directed. I asked the children what they wanted the pigeon to find. It was almost unanimous. The pigeon would find a skittle. (We use skittles as rewards in our class, so obviously it was the logical thing for the pigeon to find.)

After writing the title and drawing the pigeon with a skittle, we talked about who would write the words and draw the picture in our book. I told the children that our book would be very special because EVERYONE in our class would get to help write the words and draw the picture. So we included everyone's name in the author/illustrator list.

The next day we started the first page of our book. I also started sharing the crayon and letting the children participate in writing and drawing the story. 
I asked the children what the pigeon would say when he found the skittle. We discussed a few options and we decided on the words to the left. I had three different students write the "s's" on skittle. I also guided the children in drawing the pigeon and skittle. I would have one child come draw the eye, the next would draw the head, then the neck, etc. 

We've only finished the cover and first page. I'm excited for writing time this week. I want to know what the pigeon will do next!!!

To find more ideas for the pigeon books, check out my website!

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