Teachers for Teachers | Slice Of Life: Some Books to Inspire Small Moment Writing #SOL18 #TWTBlog
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Slice Of Life: Some Books to Inspire Small Moment Writing #SOL18 #TWTBlog

As writers, we both find inspiration in thinking about objects.  These small treasures from our lives are filled with stories.

This shell sits on my desk.

I saved this shell on the day my son Ryan laughed for the first time. He went from not smiling to a deep, deep belly laugh.  In that moment I knew he was going to bring joy into our lives.  To me, it is a reminder to slow down, to laugh every day, and to appreciate the joy we bring each other.  I love to hold it in my hand and remember those times.  I love to hold it in my hand and look forward to the “next times”.

Here is a piece of sea glass from Tammy’s collection.

I didn’t find this one. My mother-in-law gave it to me many years ago when I was first married.  To me, it is a symbol of her love and an understanding that although we came from different backgrounds, she was happy to have me as part of the family.  She passed away more than five years ago, but every time I see that sea glass I am reminded of her love.

The objects in our kids’ lives also matter. Here are three books we read this summer that will inspire our youngest writers to think about the objects in their lives as treasure chests of stories:

Grandma’s Purse, Vanessa Brantley-Newton

If you teach small moment writing in K-2, this is a book you don’t want to miss.  In this story, Grandma Mimi shares the objects in her pocketbook with her granddaughter and describes how each object represents an important memory.  Just listen to this line, “This coin purse holds my coins, of course, but it also holds memories. Your grandfather brought it back from Japan for me.  So when I do something small like put away change, I do something big and think of him too.”  A beautiful book to teach children how objects in our lives can be a source of topic ideas for small moment writing.

Mommy’s Khimar, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn

The language in this book is absolutely beautiful. Through this narrative Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow explains what a khimar (hijab) is in a developmentally appropriate way.  In this story, readers experience how this special object reminds the main character of her mother when she isn’t with her – “When I wear Mommy’s khimar, Mommy is with me even when she’s away.  I close my eyes and if I breathe in deeply- really deeply – I smell the coconut oil in Mommy’s hair and the cocoa butter on her skin.”  This book also helps readers understand how an object can help us imagine.  When the main character wears her mom’s khimar, she becomes a superhero in a cape, a queen, and even a mama bird.  It’s a powerful book to help readers look at the objects in their lives as inspirations for stories.

Teddy’s Favorite Toy, Christian Trimmer and Madeline Valentine

This is a universal story of what happens when a toy breaks and your mom throws it in the trash.  Kindergarten and first graders will love predicting what will happen next and will laugh when they learn how Teddy’s mom solves this problem.  Many young writers have a favorite toy and can find inspiration from Teddy’s story.  It is also a great mentor text to help young writers understand how to write a close-in ending, a clear turning point, and use ellipses and speech bubbles to bring their writing to life.

Looking for more mentor texts for small moment writing?  Here is our text set.

  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 12:16h, 11 September Reply

    Thanks for the personal connections, the new text recommendations and the Pinterest link- some new and some favorites. My problem is there are too many books I want to share with my students! You are not helping solve this:)

  • Avatar
    Karen Filewych
    Posted at 13:21h, 11 September Reply

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to reading and sharing each of these.

  • Avatar
    Tammy L Breitweiser
    Posted at 15:00h, 11 September Reply

    I love writing from objects.
    I am doing a writers workshop this week with 7th graders are they are choosing an object to write about from a weird mix on my tables!

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Avatar
    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 23:33h, 11 September Reply

    As a new grandmother I must check out Grandma’s Purse. As always you present us with such great reads! Thank you! And thanks for the reminder to visit your Pinterest site.

  • Avatar
    Mandy Robek
    Posted at 02:36h, 12 September Reply

    Small treasurers can take care of us and nurture our souls. It makes sense they nurture our writing. .Thanks for the book ideas, I’m off to reserve them from the library.

  • Teachers for Teachers | It’s Monday! Jennifer Serravallo’s New Book is in Our Stack! #IMWAYR #BuildYourStack
    Posted at 13:19h, 24 September Reply

    […] stack this week!  If you want to read about some of the books we read last week, check out this post about books that inspire small moment writing and this post about books that inspire the love of […]

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