How are you? We are crazy busy getting ready for our first week of school. We have meet the teacher day tomorrow and then the first day of school on Wednesday. I do not feel at all ready. But I know that it will all come together and be just fine...right?
I am here today to share a book that I think is so sweet and many can make a connection to.
I want to talk about The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. Don't you just love Cynthia Rylant's books? I do... :O)
So, there are many reasons that I love this book. I love it because I can completely relate, for one. I live in Georgia. All of my extended family lives in Ohio. My parents moved down when I was only one year old, so I've never had my extended family close by. Every year, we'd travel to Ohio to see them. I can remember that feeling like it was yesterday, and it was so fun to go see them each year. It's so much like this book. It brings up so many memories and happy feelings when I read it!
It's a big possibility that our students have had similar experiences like this, too. Even if they didn't have to travel so far, they can probably relate to seeing family after having not seen them for a long time. Hopefully, they can drum up some of those same happy and loving memories!
The other reason I love this book is the way that Cynthia Rylant really describes the setting and how she takes the small moment of the relatives arrival and really makes it come to life!
I think one of the hardest things for students in their writing is to really describe the setting of a story. I love how Cynthia Rylant describes it here. You can see that on the very first page she says "They left when their grapes were nearly purple enough to pick, but not quite."
What does that mean? It would definitely spark some conversation...luckily it tells us in the first sentence that it was summer. But, she didn't leave it at just that...she described it by comparing it to the grapes!
Again, the way that Cynthia describes the setting provides the opportunity to discuss different ways to use your senses to build a picture in the reader's eye of the setting. It says, "They had an old station wagon that smelled like a real car." It makes me wonder exactly what that means? I know what a new car smells like. I can smell it right now...can you? She could have just said they have a new car...but she didn't...I love that about her!
Also, it begs the question, if the narrator thinks they have a "real car," what kind of car does the narrator's family have? So, in other words, this book isn't just a great model for writing, it also is great in reading too!
I could really go on and on here, but I will spare you. I just really love the way that she describes the setting using senses. And, that she takes the small moment of relatives arriving, and blows it up and makes a story out of it!!
I really think this is a great mentor text for modeling how great authors describe the setting using their senses so that their readers can visualize it and get inside the story!! I think that students could try it in their own writing! Especially, if they try by writing a story about a time that they traveled to visit relatives or when they came to visit them!
So, I whipped up a little graphic organizer that you can use with your students to help them use their senses to describe the setting in their own piece!
Just click on the picture and you can download it!
|Clipart from Glitter Meets Glue and font by Cara Carroll|
I hope this will be helpful to you! I know it's simple, but sometimes simple is best!!
Have a great week!
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Next week's topic- Math