On Friday, Ralph Fletcher will be at our school for the day. He will meet with children and then meet with staff. There are three Fletcher books two for kids and one for adults you should know about:
Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem From the Inside Out
In this book, Fletcher has divided it into two sections: “Lighting the Spark ” and “Nurturing the Flame”. Each section is written is such an easy conversational way that students will connect with his ideas. He always starts out with a great story about growing up. In this book, Fletcher writes about being given money for Christmas presents which he then gives the money to an old man going through the garbage. Left without any money, he writes poems for each family member based on what their interests. I love this because my students know what it means to not have a lot of money. It is so perfect for showing kids a way to give a meaningful gift from the heart. A sparkler of an idea. Here’s a few more ideas: think of a poem as an x-ray, try poem-speak, and convey feelings through images.
In the second part of the book, Fletcher discusses the shaping of the poem. He also brings in guest columnists for their perspective on the topic. In this book he includes Janet S. Wong J. Patrick Lewis, and Kristen O’Connell George.
A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You
It’s been really fun reading portions of this book to my students in preparation for Fletcher’s visit. He just has a way to hook the readers in. In the first chapter his writes about his observations with a ditch by his house. When he discovers that it has lots of little creatures trapped overnight, he digs his own ditch for further investigations. And then, so brilliantly, he links it to writing in a writer’s notebook. Other chapters include keeping lists and wonder questions. His guest columnists include Naomi Shihab Nye and Sid Fleischman.
Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing
This is Fletcher’s newest book and one he will be using on Friday with the staff. Language play, the root of it, using the writer’s notebook as a playground for word play with kids, and mentor texts. Again Fletcher uses anecdotes from his life and makes it very practical. It must be extremely popular because in getting the orders for this, the local bookstore was limited in the copies they could order.
Non-Fiction Monday is being rounded up by non other than my CYBILS judge, Carol R. from Rasco from RIF