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Chapter 1 Why Illustration Study Matters to the Development of Young Writers

Illustrations help develop childrens imagination and potential as they become proficient writers. The illustrations convey much more than a picture because students are sharing vivid events. The process of pictures allow students to feel confident and acquire the love of writing.

I jumped from my chair and ran for the highlighter when I read this excerpt from In Pictures and In Words by Katie Wood Ray, Children understand that when they make books, theyre not drawing instead of writing, and they havent been asked to make picture books because they dont yet know how to write. Theyve been asked to draw pictures to make meaning-along with words-because thats what makers of picture books do.
Pre readers often pay attention to the illustrations to assist in reading the text. Its a balance in communication. When children draw specific details, the illustrations can serve as support to their written word. This chapter really dives into understanding the importance of illustrations and text working together to develop meaning!

Chapter 2 Building Stamina for Writing by Supporting Childrens Work as Illustrators

For most individuals, stamina can be described as endurance or the will to complete a task for longer periods of time with out getting tired. Attentive, Enduring, and Patient. Each of these words describe the traits of a young writer building stamina as they finish making their book day after day.

The power of the word MAKE is incredible. Ive never thought about how many different possibilities this word can elicit. I sit overwhelmed with my words as I write my reflections and I filled with a wealth of words. Can you imagine the feeling a child has when asked to WRITE a book? Can you visualize the enthusiasm of a child as he or she is asked to MAKE a book? My excitement builds in anticipation for their creations.
Its my excitement that drives a student to value their work, therefore value the time to make a quality book. Conferencing is a habit for me. Im aware of the time a student is working on writing, but it has never occurred to me to allow a child to explain how long theyve been working so that the student develops an understanding of the writing process.

Chapter 3 Writing and Illustrating as Parallel Composing Process

Katie writes, the verb compose best captures the parallel processes of writing and illustrating. This statement was derived from the meaning: to make something by combining together to form a whole. The process of composing is developed over time through prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

Understanding the writing process evolves and is constantly ongoing throughout the creative process thereby knowing pre-writing, editing, and revising can happened at any point. Why teach the writing process in advance? I dont write the way Ive taught in the past, so how can I expect my students to understand the process as defined in a mini lesson? My opportunity to use the language of the writing process with my students is during discussions and reflections. As they tell their story, Im able to name their thinking by describing the stage in which they are writing.
The art of composing is comprised of all the small elements added to pictures and words. Elements as small as color detail are helping define the meaning of the story. My goal this year will be to determine the purpose behind students actions when illustrating.

Chapter 4 Teaching an Essential Habit of Mind

This chapter began with a powerful quote by Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer. Read widely, read enthusiastically, be guided by instinct and not design. For if you read, you need not become a writer; but if you hope to become a writer, you must read. The goal of this chapter is to learn to read like a writer. Students are aware of so many details, many beyond where I was thinking. Talking about what illustrators do and understanding the decision making process is one part of the whole. Through our book studies we need to look at perspectives of the pictures. Whats the picture telling us? And whats the result of an illustrators decisions? Book studies are evident in my classroom. Im not certain Ive dove into purposeful illustrations. Im certain my students would notice the mud on a shoe but no so much the mud on the heel and pads only. Incorporating instructional repetition makes goals become habit. Katie suggest making a question about illustrations predictable and expected so it becomes routine. A question such as, What do you notice about the illustrations in this book?

Chapter 5 Learning Qualities of Good Writing from Illustration Techniques

Katie states, By looking at the decisions illustrators make in picture books, teachers can help understand many of the most important concepts about quality writing. In a nut shell, illustrators and writers make meaning with their decision. One technique discussed was tone and voice. So whats the difference between the two words? Voice is the personality of the story, and tone set the mood. The tone in a story can be joyful, serious, humorous, sad, threatening, formal, informal, pessimistic, and optimistic. Your tone in writing will be reflective of your mood. Im inspired to look at the illustration to determine the tone with my students prior to reading the book.

Another technique discussed was how to bring all the illustrated details from throughout the book and include them in the final illustration to remind the readers of the journey theyve taken. The patience and attentiveness this would take for a young writer is immense.

Chapter 6 The Writing Workshop

The first six chapters were intended for the reader to understand that a study of illustrations raises the level of thinking and decision making. Chapter six breaks down how to start the illustration study in the form of a workshop.
The framework for an illustration study includes: gather, expect, immerse, study, and write.

Gather: breadth (variety of books enough for each to have one or share between partners) and depth (two or three with rich potential)
Expect: take tours, show excitement, define expectation for the end of the study Immerse: students work with partners noting details with post-it notes and exposing themselves to a breadth of books. THEN reading and discussing whole group. Study: charting discussion points, providing visual from book in chart for connections later. Write: Display childrens book along side picture books to show comparison.

Chapter 6 The Writing Workshop

Book Recommendations include


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