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Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers

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❶Teachers can promote this inclination by modeling correct spelling when writing in class and providing plenty of opportunities for students to share, display, and publish their writing to promote attention to correct spelling in practical and social situations.

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Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers
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In these small groups, ask students to identify the key questions that they will answer as they complete their contribution to the text. Give students 10 to 15 minutes to compile a list of guiding questions. Circulate among students, providing feedback and answering questions as students work. Encourage students to return to the framing texts when appropriate. Gather students as a class and invite each group to share their guiding questions.

As students share questions, create a running list on the board or on chart paper. Once all groups have shared their questions, group similar questions together and eliminate redundant ideas.

At the end of this session, students should have compiled a well-defined list of the guiding questions for their project. Allow time after this session for students to complete their research, independently or during class.

For example, in McDonald's book, students will likely notice that each page ends with the sentence "My house has stars. Ask students to look at the elements of organization on the pages and share their observations: How does the author connect the ideas? Encourage students to notice the kind of information that is included on each page.

Reread a page or two and ask students to identify things other than the specific words that are used to connect the pages in the book. In McDonald's My House Has Stars , the information starts descriptively and then moves to an activity, some retelling of what the people do in this place. Smith's If the World Were a Village includes a narrative introduction on each page that weaves the numbers that are included into a specific context. On the Languages page, for example, Smith includes greetings in many of the languages that are spoken in the "village of Ask students to suggest how the details on the chart or board can be organized to provide a guide for the pages that they are writing for the class book.

Place numbers beside items or copy them to a fresh piece of chart paper to create the guiding pattern for students to return to as they draft. Ask students to start drafting their ideas and thinking about how the options of organizational patterns from the framing text they have read can work for their papers. Remind students that the pattern is a guide, not a formula. Leave students with specific questions that focus their attention on the connection between the research they have conducted and the structures that they have identified in the framing book.

For McDonald's book, for instance, you might ask students to consider what research findings can lead into the night and include the stars quotation. Ask students to look for the ways that the author has put the words and ideas together in the book.

Look for similes, repetition, a variety of lengths of sentences, and even some chunks that aren't whole sentences. As students explore their books, ask them to think critically about the features that they find, using questions such as the following: What is the difference between an effective simile and a cliche?

Are the similes in the book effective? What kinds of words or ideas are worth repeating, and what is the effect of repetition? Why does McDonald repeat the sentence "My house has stars"? Why does Smith repeat the "village of "? What other reasons might a writer have to use repeated words, phrases, or sentences? After exploring the language use in the framing text, ask students to apply the same analysis to their own drafts.

Since their own papers will follow the form of the framing text, the features from the picture book should be represented in their papers. Allow time for students to complete revision and peer review during the remainder of the session.

As a class, decide on layouts and templates you'll use so that the pages of your book will match. In addition to creating their own pages for the class book, ask groups to provide a shared bibliography page. Again, choose a template for the bibliography pages so that the collection will match. Finally, assign each group a framing portion of the book to complete. Customize these shared pages based on the framing text that you're using.

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