The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 2 - Page 65

Reading Recipe for the Write Stuff


Julie Bryant and Colleen Shuler



pattern to follow. The first main course is That Stinks! A Punny Show-and-Tell by Alan Katz. You only have to read a few pages of the book to show the students the punny pattern. After seeing the author’s style, they can determine the purpose is to entertain. Next, they can follow the same pattern used by Mr. Katz to write their own punny show-and-tell ideas, but add their own flair! After they get the hang of it, try it again with another main course. Our second main course is Have a Look, Says Book by Richard Jackson and Kevin Hawkes. Again, just reading a few pages to the students will allow them to see the style and purpose of the authors in order to follow the pattern of using descriptive words to describe something. Perhaps they can even use the pattern to describe themselves or a classmate.

Once they have the hang of it, you can create recipes to store in a reading/writing center in your classroom. Recipe cards can be printed and placed with the main course mentor texts to inspire students to do writing on their own. A couple of examples are included:

help students sample from all genres. Further, teachers should help students to notice the genres they are reading in the mentor texts so they may transfer those genres into their own writing.

Once they have sampled several genres, they are ready to begin writing. We suggest selecting one piece of literature to serve as a mentor text. This we call the main course, and it can be used to serve as the foundation for the reading/writing recipe mentioned previously. When offering titles for your main course, we recommend choosing from the following:

● ones from which we can learn something about writing,

● ones from various genres,

● ones we can study the author’s techniques,

● ones that spark curiosity in our students, and

● ones we personally love!!!

After the main course is selected, they are ready to begin following the four-step recipe. We like to start small and help them to feel early success with a simple