The Nature Walk

YEAH! …we got to go on the nature walk…or should I say nature writing walk?  My friends were so excited.  Our mini-lesson was about poets observing the world around them…they take notes, or sketch what they see and then they write poems about the “seeds” they found.  I have done this a lot with my personal children and with a fourth grade class but I wasn’t sure how it would go with first graders.  They had a blast.  My friends took it so seriously…they were poets…and proved it!  They had boundries of where they could go and the rule was find a writing spot…sit/lay on your towel and begin observing and writing.  We were outside for thirty minutes.  I didn’t confer with anyone because I wrote too…but they didn’t seem to mind.  They were so actively engaged.  When we returned to the classroom we got in our share circle and everyone turned knee to knee with a partner and shared.  (I knew if I only let a few share today that I would break some little hearts!)  Once we turned back into the circle we talked about what we did as poets today and added to our “What Poets Do”  anchor chart.  Here is a poem by one of my first grade friends:

The Grass by A


A green prickly blanket covers

the Earth

keeping all the bugs and snakes warm

I promised them that writing workshop would be outside again today…I will share some more “nature” poems this weekend 🙂


K.W.R. …the topic is writing…

~ Katie Wood Ray ~

I am really LoVinG using Katie Wood Ray’s works…she has become a wonderful mentor for me.  I have attended several workshops that she presented for literacy coaches and k-2 writing trainers for the district I work in…here are just a few of my favs…


Writing Workshop with Our Youngest WritersThis one is a must have for all K-2 teachers who use a workshop approach for teaching writing…the video companion that goes along with About the Authors is amazing…great for staff development or for enjoyment!  After watching the video you will truly reflect on your teaching practice and will understand WHY using the workshop approach beginning in kindergarten is very important for creating life long learners.


 Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom Wondrous Words…This one is probably my most favorite book by Katie…I have read it over and over and refer back to it often.  It is a great resource for teachers of writing…and for people who just love to write :o)  It is chalk full of craft techniques that writers use and it even list possible books and sample pieces that you can use to teaching the writer’s craft!


A Framework for Planning Units of Study in the Writing Workshop This one is a great companion piece to use with Lucy Calkin’s units of study…the difference is…Lucy’s has the units pretty much mapped out for you…however in Katie’s book …she just shows you the possibilities.  Once you have used the scaffold of Lucy’s work and you know what a unit of study looks like and feels like you will be able to imagine the other possibilities that are out there for you…you will be Study Driven


Working Through the Hard Parts (And They're All Hard ... So…are you ready to learn more about the writing workshop…check out this book by Katie Wood Ray and Lester Laminak it is called: The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (And They’re All Hard…)

Poetry Friday #1

This is my first Poetry Friday…I am going to try to be faithful and post a poem and response each Friday…at least during the month of April since it is Poetry month…some poems will be originals by me…others will just be poems that spark an intrest or emotion…

A Lighthouse Adventure  by Marie Lee 3-23-08


before dawn

put your

clothes on.

Pack up

the car

drive real


Pull up

on the ferry

…don’t worry…

it’s not scary!

Glide over

the water

to the Outer Banks

of  N.C.

There’s no


what you

might see-


and seagulls


taking pictures

observing the


so majestic

and tall.



Bodie and


what a

wondrous view.

When the day

is done

and night

begins to come

get back in

the car

and drive real


Back home

to your bed

to rest your



full of


of a



 If you like writing poetry…you should enter:

A One Week Poetry Challenge

Check it out at  the fun starts on 4-12-08 🙂