Saturday, December 3, 2011
Has anyone ever read All Pigs Are Beautiful? I love it! This is the second year I have used this book for teaching an "extended response" (yuck). I am not a huge fan of extended response...does every state have them on their state tests? Or is it just Illinois? Don't get me wrong, I think it's super important that kids can articulate thoughts about a text and answer questions about a text in writing, but I have just never seen a way of teaching it that I like. It always seems so contrived and inauthentic to me. So I don't teach my kids "extended response," I just teach my kids how to think about a text and how to write those thoughts in response to a specific question using examples from the text.
So anyway, to get to the point, All Pigs are Beautiful is a great book for this!! First, I read the story on one day just for pure enjoyment - because the book is really cute. When I finished reading the book, I had my kids turn and talk to each other about some of the things they hears about pigs and people being alike. That's it for the first day. We didn't even really share out. The next day, before I reread the story, I told my kids to listen for ways pigs and people are alike. Then I reread the story. We then shared out about seven or eight different ways pigs and people are alike. I then gave them their response form. We have been writing expository paragraphs lately so I briefly reminded them to write a topic sentence and to give examples from the text. I didn't want to bog them down with too many things to think about though so I just let them go for it. I definitely got a range of results, but every student was able to write at least two ways pigs and people are alike. I am hoping as the year goes on (and as I model more) they will become more and more comfortable referring to back to the text, using transition words, and writing conclusion/ wrap-up sentences!