Six Traits Sunday-Organization

Welcome back for Six Traits Sunday.  This week, we are focusing our linky party on the trait, organization.   Participants are asked to share their favorite books that work well for modeling organization.  It'd be most helpful for readers to learn how the books have been used, perhaps see student work associated with the book's use, sample materials that might be incorporated into lessons, writing prompt ideas, and other tips.  That said, simply sharing your book idea works well too.  Ultimately, it's most important to make the match between what we need to teach, the interests of our students, and the lesson activities, so I hope to see lots of book ideas.  Remember too, that the linky for Ideas is open until next March, so you can add titles to that at any time.

Now, before I share my choice of titles, I wanted to share two great websites for lesson plans and other mentor text titles.  This teacher blog, Mrs. Hayden's World, includes a clip of various books and both reading and writing skills that the book works well for. Definitely, check this one out.  The Writing Fix includes the following books, and if you like these titles, definitely visit this website for specific lesson plan ideas.  
  • Because of Winn Dixie
  • Big and Little
  • Brave Margaret:  An Irish Adventure
  • Fish Faces
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake
  • That's Good! That's Bad!
  • There's a Nightmare in my Closet
  • Through My Eyes
  • Tomorrow's Alphabet
  • Twilight Comes Twice
  • Wilfred Gordan McDonald Partridge
  • How to Become a Pirate
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Now for my book ideas.  The first I am sharing is the book, Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski.  I just love the progression of this book and the word choice the author chose. (so really, it's great for more than organization).  When reading the book to the group, it's fun to change your voice or have the children chime in during the "chorus" part.  At the beginning of the book, the wolf comes and scares the chickens out of the hen house, and they are off to face more things that scare them. The story ends with the chickens wandering into a cave followed by the wolf who is scared away by the chickens.  I think using the Artist Storyboard would work well for both analyzing this book and planning another.  It'd be fun to take the chickens on another adventure or to write from another animal's point of view.  At this end of this post, I'll add a copy of the Artist Storyboard organizer teachers might use.

The second book I chose is Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies.  I thought this might be a fun one to do at the beginning of the year when some of the children you might be teaching have perhaps traveled to the beach.  This is a rhyming book told in chronological order.  The setting is at night, so it would lead to discussion about why this story can't take place during the day.  Even though the level of this book is probably between 2nd and 3rd, I think writing a rhyming book would be too hard for this age, but I do think upper elementary would enjoy it.  I would probably do this writing assignment in pairs.  I think it'd be fun to write...Bats go to School, Bats at my House, or Bats at the Zoo.  Planning for this story might be best using the Four Square model. I think it would give the students a basic frame to follow, and a place to select their word choice if they want to follow the rhyming pattern of Bats at the Beach.   At the bottom of this post, I will share a Four Square form I used with my students last year.  If you need an explanation of how the Four Square model works, you can access a Powerpoint I used to show my students here.


  1. I went back through my notes from a workshop I attended in the spring. I'm going to upload the book titles Ruth Culham shared in her talk. The link will be to Amazon's website, but at least you'll have the titles and can take a peak at them. Here's what I wrote down related to the titles...
    Scaredy Squirrel (lists and compare/contrast)
    Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (compare/contrast)
    Mouse and the Lion (sequencing)

  2. You are sharing some great information here! I will be checking out these websites that you mentioned. I am always looking for new writing lessons!

    Thank you for sharing!
    Hanging Out in First!


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