writingfix lesson linked here Writing Fix has invited all teachers of writing to share their ideas for this book at their website. Have you? This is the book I used over 15 years ago with my students.
Written By Roni Schotter Illustrated By Kyrsten Brooker, 1997, Orchard Paperbacks
The teacher reads the book, then leads a discussion about paying attention to someplace special. This book is all about sitting on the front porch at home and noticing what is happening in the neighborhood.
Your job today and this week is to notice what is happening in your neighborhood.
This week the homework assignment is for each student to sit outside on the porch, the front steps, or in front of your door for 15 minutes each day. I want you to notice the sounds you hear, notice what you see. Who is walking down your street? Is the street messy or neat? Are there flowers? Are there shops or other apartments? Really look and notice. Each day I ask my students to orally share what they notice on their streets.
Then I write what I noticed on my street.
Today on Jones Street the neighbor built a fence to keep two kittens off his front porch. The neighbor’s three boys helped him bang on nails all during my afternoon nap. “Here daddy have a nail.” “I will hold the hammer for you.” “Daddy, is it my turn yet?” I could tell that all three boys were trying to help the daddy. I smiled as I wondered how much help the little boys really were to their daddy. I could hear a whole lot of love on my next door neighbor’s porch though. Good-bye to my children’s quiet nap time today!
Today on Jones Street another neighbor finally finished the last bit of fence left in her backyard to keep her little kids safe. I could hear the shouts of laughter as the little ones jumped on their trampoline. The girl was dressed in a purple tutu so she could jump as high as a circus performer. Her brother impatiently waiting his turn. “Mommy when is it my turn?” I wonder who will build a fence tomorrow?
Today on Jones Street the ice cream truck drove by our house at least 15 times. It was playing the same song over and over and over. My children begged for ice cream treats at least 15 times over and over. “Please please please mommy we want singing ice-cream.” I wouldn’t let them. I had this irrational fear of food poisoning. I let them choose ice cream sandwiches from my freezer for all their neighborhood friends too. One box of 12 ice cream sandwiches is the same price as one ice cream sandwich. Maybe I should buy a fence to keep the ice cream truck away!
Today on Jones Street my son, Andrew, played with the water hose. He squirts it at cars as they drive by. I hope they have their car windows up! The superintendent, who lived down the street, stopped and talked to my three year-old. “I don’t want my car washed anymore.” No more water in the street. So he moves off to bury the hose in his huge sandbox and swamps it. I opened my water bill and notice that there is a note on it, “We have adjusted your water bill because no one can possibly have this high of a water bill. Please check for leaks!” We love living in a small town!
Today on Jones Street I sat on the picnic table watching my daughter on the swing set. Ashleigh loved to try to touch the sky with her feet. The breeze blew my hair as I drank diet coke. Ashleigh giggled, “Maybe this time I will touch the cloud, Mama.” I gave her an under dunk answered, “Maybe next time, Ash.”
Set purpose for writing
The students share what is happening in one special place. What is happening in the yard? What is happening on the playground? What is happening on the porch of Grandma’s house? What are the special specific details? After several days, the students begin writing stories titled, “Something Happens on _______ (name of their street) Street”.
Filed under: Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, staying on topic, writing Tagged: | Debra Renner Smith, Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street, staying on topic, writing, writing mini-lesson, Writing Workshop