Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kevin Henkes

This afternoon we took part in a live webcast with the wonderful author Kevin Henkes.  Mrs. Higgins' class came to join us for this special event.  This was my very first live webcast in room 116 and I think I'm hooked.  It was fascinating to hear first hand how a real author creates and writes his stories.  Just like Kevin Henkes' Lilly, we just stood back and proclaimed, Wow.  Just wow.  Kevin Henkes spoke to the students about being an author, writing stories, revising and following the writing process.  We were pretty shocked to hear he writes all his stories on an old fashion type writer.  He doesn't even use email or a cell phone!
Kevin Henkes in 1st grade
In preparation for the webcast, 1st graders have been listening, reading, and exploring Kevin Henkes stories.  At the start of the school year as a class we read Chrysanthemum. This popular tale of a mouse whose name just doesn't fit in, allowed our classroom to discuss character's feelings and author's message. Each time Chrysanthemum was teased, we crumpled up a giant heart. Every time someone did something nice to her, we smoothed the heart out. By the end of the story, the heart was a wrinkled mess that couldn't be completely smoothed out.
The students made the connection that our own hearts can feel wrinkled and crumpled when someone says unkind words to us. After completing the story, students paired up to give each other compliment.
1st graders then signed their names to a band-aid as a way to show that we will all think before we speak because wrinkled hearts are hard to heal.
Before you speak, think and be smart.  It's hard to fix a wrinkled heart!
After reading so many of Kevin Henkes' stories and loving so many of his characters, 1st graders were given the tough task of choosing their favorite.
Lilly and her purple plastic purse                                                          Baby Julius                      

Students decided on their favorite character (most went with cute mice) and wrote an entry in their read and respond journals.  We are definitely getting more and more excited about reading!
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