My writers gathered on the ground, crisscross applesauce, for today’s mini-lesson. It was an idea from Craft Lessons by Ralph Fletcher and Joann Portalupi about word choice. I explained to the students that we would be reading Shrek for a purpose today – to find alternatives to the word walk.
I read. At the end of each page I stopped so students could share the synonyms they had heard. A student added them to our anchor chart.
They were enthralled with the ugly guy who breaths fire, eats pheasant, and is looking for his even uglier princess. Very engaged, listening for the words that were used instead of walk.
“Why do you think the author is using all of these words that we don’t normally hear, all in one book?” I asked.
“Because it makes it funnier,” they answered.
“Some of the children kept hugging and kissing him, and there was nothing he could do to make them stop,” I read.
“Some people don’t like to be hugged,” a student empathized.
And when he found his princess and they started to recite rhymes to each other! They loved it!
“Oh, ghastly you,
With lips of blue,
Your ruddy eyes
With carmine sties
I could go on,
I know you know
The reason why
I love you so –
We finished and I sent them off to slice, paying attention to the verbs they choose to use. No one is too old to enjoy a good picture book!