Friday, July 20, 2012

Wholeness of Text and a Morning Song!

I don't know why, but chapter 9, Wholeness of Text, was harder for me to get through than any other. I'm not sure if it was the subject matter or if it was beautiful weather beckoning me to come outside or the distractions of these cute guys running around in my front yard...
We hired them to mow and fertilize our lawn! They
do great work!  
I caught this one laying down on the job! No more
hostas for him.
Anyway, I did force myself to stay focused and finally found some things that show wholeness of text.  I love Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Have you ever noticed that Jesse Bear has the same red shirt on for the whole story. He wears all kinds of other things such as rice, dirt and even a chair, but he keeps that red shirt on once he puts it on in the morning and it comes off when he hops in the tub. That's not the last time we see that shirt.  I love that we see that red shirt on the very last page peeking out of the clothes hamper...Do you think he put it there himself?  What a responsible little bear! Bruce Degen keeps static details consistent. "As you point out how illustrators have to be so careful to render a character or object the same way each time they're pictured, help children imagine the work it takes to accomplish this...This process of looking back to make sure new content fits with old is directly parallel to the process a writer uses to keep wholeness of text." page 171 Katie Wood Ray.

I'm going back to a book I've shared before. The Little House stays the same but the city keeps getting closer and closer. The illustrations are connected ins such a way that meaning builds across the details as picture after picture suggests that the city will eventually envelope the house.

In The Napping House the Woods crafts an ending that returns to the lead. Look at the first page of the book.

Now take a look at the last page. It's the the same yard, but what a change has occurred.  The changes could only happen by the way the meaning was crafted in the book.
 The Woods also craft artful repetition on each page as the characters continue to dog-pile onto the bed one at a time. This is a wonderful book to show the passage of time using details of weather.

A favorite book of mine, not just because it's a Lois Ehlert book and not just because it's loaded with wonderful backyard birds, but also because Lois crafts an ending that pulls multiple text elements together. Each of the birds in the book shows up at the end in feather form!

When I started this post I had the end in mind. I knew I would somehow bring those deer back into focus. I'm going to use a suble tecnique when I do it. I have one flower left in my yard. Yes, one! I used to be able to grow thousands, but those cute little deer are hungry. When they are done keeping the bushes trimmed and the lawn tidy, they enjoy the sweetness of flowers for their dessert. So I'm showing you the remaining flower left in my yard for...The End!

Are you just joining the study?  In case you missed it last week, here is a freebie you can use during the year to help you organize the books you use to illustrate each technique.
I was amazed at how many people viewed my post on titled The ABCs of first grade. Many people asked about the tune to the Morning Song that my class sings each most mornings! Thank you. I felt so loved. As promised here is a video featuring my daughter doing the dance moves and my son supplying the tune and me singing! I hope you enjoy, and that it helps you learn the song!!

Thank you, 

for hosting! I'm loving this study.


  1. Replies
    1. I do too! I just wish I could grow flowers!

  2. Ok... LOVE your post! Deer...Love! Your video...Love, love! You have some future music video professionals on your hands. So clever!

    PS: I felt the same way about this chapter. Maybe I had too much vacation on the brain. I will regroup and refocus next week!

  3. Love that video! You've got good help!

    1. Yep! They are good kids! I love 'em bunches!

  4. Hi, Jenny. Yay! I thought it was just brought great focus onto some techniques that were sketchy to me...or could it be I was getting a lil' cabin fever for not leaving the house for a few days...and thus easily video! Thanks for sharing :)

    Treasures for Teaching

  5. I had a hard time also. I just kept going blank on some books that would go with the techniques. I wish I had my whole classroom library here at home to help! Love your post.


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