In Pictures and In Words study ch 1

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I hope that it is ok that I take creative license with how I will be participating with this books study. It fits SO nicely into what I am doing through the NWP( National Writing Project) and the summer institute(SI). BUT I want to take it a bit slower than the schedule. I want to share what I am collecting in my SI learning log and my reflections on the important theory and how other writers have tapped into these same ideas. So this post will just be on Chapter one: Illustration Study as a Foundation for Strong Writing.

This first set of quotes hit to the heart of what I think writing needs to be, and something I feel that I fight with everyone over. That is writing for children must be developmentally appropriate. I feel that so many teachers in my district rush to get to an end product. Children must all look like "this" at the end of the year. Let's toss to the way side where these children started or how they come to writing. Lucy Calkins in her book Pathways to the Common Core discusses this very thing, while the Common Core State Standards are the end result, some things might not be attainable for some students. Writing in Kinder is one of the areas she focuses on, and I believe that she would support this idea that illustrations ARE writing! Another support piece to developmentally appropriate writing comes on page 10 in the way of the NAEYC's position statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice, published in 2009. This piece is crystal clear that the spirit of play, which at 5 years old is developmentally appropriate, matters because through play children develop self regulations as well as language and social competence.

Ok take a second and think about this... a child plays, that is what they do, it's how they are wired as 5 year olds and if we can tap into this play as educators we have hit the gold mine. Katie Wood Ray wrote another book called Already Ready with Matt Glover talking about how children come to school already ready... because they see writing as play. It's just one way to tell about something. Just one way to share their thoughts and feelings. Matt Glover went on to write Engaging Young Writers. He also speaks volumes to the idea of writing as play and adds to it that children need entry points into writing. I believe that sharing good quality illustration study would be one of those entry points.

To sum up this chapter is for me is about tapping into children's natural love of play. I also believe that it's about children using illustration as an entry point into writing and valuing what that child is bringing to the table.

To see what others think of this chapter (actually the first 6- remember I am stretching mine out ;) ) goto Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog: In Pictures and In Words book study


  1. Karen! I! Love! It! I love that you brought Lucy Calkins into the discussion because their work is so related. I am now going to go check out your other writing posts!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  2. So glad I found your blog! I love your thoughts on Chapter 1.


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