Tag Archives: letter writing

Building and rebuilding

16 Oct

My school is slated to be demolished and rebuilt. This won’t happen for a few years because we are second on the list. In the meantime, my 4th grade team is using this as a writing opportunity. The kids have done some research about school facilities and are now on team building T-charts of pros and cons for the features they think should be included in the new building. They will present their arguments in teams and then all 4th graders will select a few ideas and write a persuasive letter to our principal to convince her to include the features they’ve chosen. Last year, we did a similar project with a different topic and tho kids were very impressed because the principal read and commented on each of their letters. That feedback was very meaningful to them.

For kids who are interested in building and contraction we have  The Story of Buildings, written by Patrick Dillon and illustrated by Stephen Biesty.


The book takes a chronological look at buildings from pyramids to the Sydney Opera House. In the opening chapter Dillon describes how houses are, and have been, built. Subsequent chapters focus on particular buildings and their construction. There are lots of cool foldouts for those not ready to tackle the substantial text.


For kids, or adults, interested in architecture, this book is worth picking up.


They’re not gonna take it any more

8 Aug

Sometimes, things get too be too much and you just have to stop and say “no more”. Duncan’s crayons feel that way in  The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.


They are tired of being abused and want to stick it to the man. That man happens to be Duncan, who, according to the crayons, has unrealistic expectations of them.

Each page features a letter to Duncan from a particular color, outlining that color’s grievances, and an illustration proving their point. Here’s a sample from the green crayon:


I will admit that the copy I have on hold at the library has not yet arrived, so I read this, standing up in Powell’s. I laughed out loud and worried people noticed me.

This book has me thinking about all the ways you can use it n the classroom: letter writing, persuasive writing, humor, imagining  what another inanimate object might write…..OOOO imagine what a chair might say! Scandalous.

Definitely a must have. I think this is one I will add to my teacher read aloud book club for this year. It looks like it will be a “go” for 2013-14.


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