All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan

April Theme:  Sentence Fluency

For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing.  Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.

December 2010 – Ideas

January 2011 – Organization

February 2011 – Voice

March 2011 – Word Choice

This month’s theme is Sentence Fluency.  How can we use picture books to model for students how authors vary their sentence structure?  How do authors create flow with their sentences?

Recommended Grades: 3-5

All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan is a moving story of the birth and first several years of life for Eli.  When he is born, his grandmother holds him up to see all the places to love at his family’s favorite place.  In this instance, Eli and his family are all connected.

Lesson idea: Read aloud this book and discuss with students how the author uses various techniques to lengthen her sentences on each page.  As you read through the book again, note how the author uses semi-colons in several places.  If necessary, provide a mini-lesson on semi-colons and their purpose and uses.  In this case, the author uses them to join related clauses, creating a longer sentence.  Ask students: How does the lengthening of the sentence help the piece flow?  What would happen if you made the clauses into separate sentences?  How would it change the flow of the story?  Have students work on using semi-colons in their own writing to connect clauses and lengthen sentences, where it makes sense.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about sentence fluency or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

©2011 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.