David Biedrzycki

At the 2016 International Literacy Association Conference I met author and artist David Biedrzycki at a book and signing & give away by #Charlesbridge Publishers. He also is the illustrator of the popular book, The Beetle Alphabet Book (and many more). This cover instantly flashed me a warm smile and asked for a hug. And I have the best idea how to use this as a mentor text with writers too (more on that later)! The illustrations are done in Adobe Photoshop, and I must admit, it is not usually my favorite medium- but this has made me revisit that mind set. I appreciate the TV broadcaster organization and presentation. On the bottom of each action packed double spread full-bleed, is Breaking News Ticker Tape, accompanied by speech bubbles, weaving you through the regularly scheduled story line. The offerings of mystery, humor, irony, and opportunities to infer, predict, and laugh are abundant. There is ample diversity of gender, ethnicity, age, and even social class to infer. Part of a cute series.
So back to mentor text use at writer's workshop in kindergarten. Elementary kids love news and when they share a personal story it is contagious. First, my writers learn about double spread full bleeds and the language of illustrators, so this will serve as models for visual literacy in that way. Writers in kindergarten also learn and write using features like speech bubbles. So my idea is to make a blank page like this sample page, It will have the ticker tape that says Breaking News followed by a place for kids to write their breaking news ( I fell at recess and needed an ice pack or Joe got a new hamster).  Next I want to take a photo of each kid holding a microphone and I will print them large enough to fit on their page. The other scaffold will be to then add the empty speech bubble for the writers to add their voice (I cried for 10 minutes, the hamster is so soft). They will each have a breaking news page to create a supporting illustration for the news (the scene of the playground injury, the hamster into mischief), color, and share.

A Crow of His Own

Illustrator David Hyde Costello's watercolor illustrations are beautiful, meaningful, and woven so delicately around the text by author Megan Dowd Lambert. His art offers an opportunity to discuss the choices around the use of double spreads, full bleeds, vignettes, and speech bubbles.  In one vignette the isolated feeling rooster stands behind a rock wall, back to the viewer, and staring at the wandering away farm animals with the text, "The animals' words left Clyde in a state of speechless distress." And later when that scrawny rooster finds himself facing a tangerine dawn sun rise with confidence,  followed by the loudest COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! that could fit on two pages, we investigate the use of double-spread full bleeds.  I have to add, the farm animals have the sweetest faces, with grins to match their humor and wit. These characters are developed and their eyes and experiences invite the reader in for an interaction. I hope to see them all again. #charlesbridge

Engineering in Kindergarten

In the Block Area is a book shelf,  with choices offering inspiration and ideas
Sometimes we do not have the same materials...we question if this is fair
Working with a team means COLLABORATION, all team members have to compromise and offer ideas