Mentor Text: Spork
Spork is a book about coming to terms with being yourself. I loved it the first time I read it. My kids loved it so much that I’ve read it enough times to not love it any more, but I still do. Since it’s one of those books for me, I looked at it with my writer’s eyes. What can I learn from this book about writing? How can I use it with students to help them become better writers? Here are three (of hundreds) ideas:
- Setting — I was working in a fifth grade classroom and the teacher said, “My students aren’t understanding how setting plays an important role in character development and plot.” That night my kids and I read Spork and I realized how the setting was part of the conflict. The setting helped drive the plot. The setting inspired the characters. This is a mentor in the importance of setting and the way it can influence other parts of the story.
- Word Play — Sometimes I think we forget to teach students that writing should be playful. We can work words to bring delight and meaning. This happens in Spork. Check out this page (and notice the way the setting comes across in the picture and influences the play with words).
- Purposeful Meaning — At first, you may think this is a silly book, but the ending packs a punch and makes all the silliness have a purpose. Lots of young writers like to write silly stories, often filled with nonsense. It is important for them to learn to have purpose to every part of their writing. (This goes right along with the So What? lesson I was thinking about last week.)
And just as cool as this little book is the fact that Kids Can Press is donating two copies to give away. So leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite food to eat with a SPORK and you’ll be entered in the drawing. If you have more than one favorite food to eat with a SPORK, leave another comment (and another and another). You can leave as many comments as you want to increase your chance to win. I’ll use the Random Number Generator on Wednesday night, so enter before then! Also, so sorry international friends, but this is only open to those with an US mailing address since Kids Can Press will take care of the shipping.