Sunday, August 18, 2019

Summer Is For Reading! A Wave Came Through Our Window

Wow. A Wave Came Through Our Window (2015) by Zetta Elliott is a book that teachers will want to make sure to use as a fabulous mentor text for teaching writing.

Not only is this text a perfect fit for teaching 'small moments' in writing (particularly fits well with that in the Lucy Calkins' Writing Units of Study), but is phenomenal as examples to illustrate author's word choice.

Through engaging characters that our brown students can relate to, this book will help you show students by example how to hone in on that small, meaningful moment to write about. The author didn't choose to write about an entire summer and how hot it was; she chose to hone in on what one summer night in their hot apartment was like. And not just one night in their apartment, but one night at bedtime!

If you or your school uses Jennifer Serravallo's Writing Strategies book, this fits perfectly with Goal 4: Focus/Meaning. Within Goal 4, you may want to use this as a mentor text for Strategy 4.5: Write About a Pebble or 4.6: Zoom In On A Moment of Importance.

You'll also definitely want to use this book as a mentor text for Author's Craft. In Jennifer Serravallo's Writing Strategies book, you can see this book fits very well as a mentor text for Goal 6: Elaboration and Goal 7: Word Choice.

Check out those similes, sensory details "... warm and thick ..." and use of rhyme, "...turns and churns..."!

Below are a few more excerpts. See if you can spot the similes, sensory details and alliteration.

Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking Strategy 6.13: Show, Don't Tell: Using Senses to Describe Places from the Serravallo Writing Strategies book, as well as 6.14: Show, Don't Tell: Emotions. You can also definitely find a mentor sentence here to suit your students' needs, as in 6.38: Mentor Sentences.

For Goal7: Word Choice, 7.4: Bring Objects to Life, 7.5 Verbs That Match the Meaning, and definitely 7.8: Sneaky Sounds: Alliteration, Consonance and Assonance.

The more you return to a particular mentor text, the more students (and you!) will understand how that text works and how you can edit your writing by using the mentor text example.

And A Wave Came Through Our Window is just plain darn beautiful descriptive writing you and your kids will love.

I'm getting my copy of this book as soon as I get my first check of the school year. I think you'll want to do the same.

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