Sunday, September 1, 2013

Twilight Comes Twice- A Figurative Language Lesson Idea {A Must Read Mentor Text for Language Arts}

Here we are again to share another wonderful mentor text!

I'm a little nervous about this post.  I'm hoping that I didn't do anything illegal.  It's possible the police will show up to my blog.  But I'm still going to share what I did!!  I'll just hope for the best!  ;O)

Okay, so we have been working on figurative language for the last, say, three weeks.  We honestly didn't mean to spend this much time on it, but we realized they didn't learn it in third grade so we needed more detailed instruction.  The main reason we started with this was because we want students to be able to recognize it in their reading all year AND to use it in their writing.

So, because we were extending our original plans, we were looking through some books that had great figurative language.  My colleague showed me this book and I knew I had to use it!

I know that this has been linked up before, but hopefully it will just give you more ideas on how to use it!

So, when I read the book, I was ooooooing and ahhhhhhing over the figurative language.  I was excited it had so much and would be a perfect mentor text for our unit!  I was reading from a teacher/adult perspective.

Then, I read it from a student perspective.  I knew that it was going to be pretty deep and my students may not have a clue what it was about just from me reading it.  I also know that I need to really teach in small groups as much as possible because of my class make up this year.

I mean, look at the very first page!!

I mean, Ralph Fletcher is an amazing writer and this sounds beautiful, but what does it MEAN?  It makes you stop and think, right?  Well imagine if you are nine!!  They really had to think!!

So, I decided to make some copies of some of the pages (is that illegal??) and then we could notate on the pages the elements of figurative language that we found, plus do a little analyzing of poetry.

I did read the entire book to the class.  I could tell they were pretty lost.  When I finished, I asked, "What was this poem about?"

They said twilight.  And maybe dusk and dawn?

And that was it.  Which was what I expected.

So I explained that poetry really is so fun to read because it really makes you have to read deeply to understand it.  That means that you have to reread it a few times to be sure you understand what the author is trying to say.

So, this is where we split into small groups.  I actually split them into their reading groups so that I could base the small group lessons around what they needed.

I made copies of only a few of the pages of the book.  Each student had their own copy.  We went stanza by stanza, finding examples of figurative language and analyzing what Fletcher was saying about twilight.

Here are some photos of what we did together.

We color coded the figurative language as we came across it.  When possible, we drew a picture that helped us visualize what the stanza meant.

The amount of deep thinking that went into this on the part of the students was intense!!  Some of them were totally out of their comfort zone but by the end of the week, they had caught on!  We worked on this each day for four days this past week in small group.

It was really amazing to see all of that thinking going on.  And, they are pros at picking out figurative language!!  On top of that, they LOVED it!

Next week, while I'm starting with our guided reading books, I'm going to have the students work in pairs to do the same exact thing, but with a different book, Hello, Harvest Moon also by Ralph Fletcher.
It's in the same format as Twilight Comes Twice so my hope is that they will be successful with this and have some good discussions with their partner.  It seems a little easier than the book we did together so I think they will have fun with it!

I will let you know how it goes!

Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Math


  1. You linked up with one of my FAVORITE books! It's just beautiful, but I never saw the Harvest book!! Let me know how it goes, I might just have to get it to add to my collection. Enjoy your long weekend and thanks for the linky!
    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. I must get these two titles! They sound perfect for my upper elem. kiddos. We are working on this skill now. Thanks for sharing them and your great ideas for using them.

  3. These two books are some of my favorites. I love Ralph Fletcher's works for figurative language and word choice! Such great mentor texts. Thanks for sharing how you use them with your kiddos. I love getting new ideas for my favorite books.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  4. I'm so impressed with your students' understanding of figurative language- looks like you found a great way to get your friends immersed in their reading!
    Learning to the Core

  5. This is such a beautiful text! I used it with my fifth graders, and it was such a great example of rich writing! Ralph Fletcher is amazing--heard him speak at an IRA conference many moons ago, and he was just as inspiring in person as his writings are... I will be passing on your post to one of my former fifth grade teaching partners!

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  6. I absolutely love Ralph Fletcher! I have so many of his books... he just has a gift for writing that students can easily understand. I have his poetry collection called A Writing Kind of Day. It's also a great read if you're teaching poetry and figurative language. I got to meet him a while back and he's truly genuine and full of tons of great stories! His memoir Marshfield Dreams is also filled with tons of great figurative language as well!

    Thanks for sharing your activity,
    My Shoe String Life
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  7. Hi there!
    What a great activity that challenges students to dig deeper and think critically. As far as the copyright issue, I think you're fine - you are allowed to copy 10% of a book, so a couple pages should be okay. Rest easy, my friend :)

    Joy in the Journey

  8. Haha you and your stressing- you're FINE. You're a teacher so you have Fair Use - if you use it to teach, you can reproduce it. That's why mentor sentences are allowed! :) I want to use this book as well- I've heard it's beautiful!

  9. I love your idea and I think because you were using it as a teaching tool you are fine.

  10. This books looks beautiful and the language is beautiful too! Thanks for the detailed explanation of how you used it - this is why I love reading your posts - you teach everything first and I can just ride along on your coattails - thanks!! I have never started with figurative language either - I think you made a good choice - they will be able to identify it all year long.

  11. Thanks for introducing me to a new book! This will be a great addition to our figurative language unit! Also wanted to say thanks for your paper pack the you gave to Diane and Amelia's giveaway! It's super cute!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  12. This book looks amazing! It has beautiful language and reminds me of the text complexity I need to be modeling. Haha on the illegal. I always wonder about things like that because it seems like just about everything can be illegal somehow!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  13. I love this book too! And...I copy pages out of books all the time! :O) I love figurative language and I appreciate your detailed post on how you teach it, which is why we need to copy those pages so they can mark the text. Just added Hello Harvest Moon to my wish list! Love your lesson and your linky!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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  15. I love Twilight Comes Twice and the activity you do to go with it. Ralph Fletcher can do no wrong in my book! I have not read Hello, Harvest. I will see if I can check that one out from the library. If not, it's going on "The List".

    Thank you, and enjoy your day off tomorrow.

    Fit to be Fourth
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  16. Thanks for sharing your idea! This is one of my most favorite books...EVER!!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  17. This book looks so great for teaching figurative language! I was going to say what Jivey already did about it not being illegal in parts. You aren't allowed to copy entire books, but selections are covered for instructional use.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  18. It is usually considered to be difficult but with such kind of the effective prospects it has become more easy for the students to give something which will give students more of what they must need to look for. manuscript typing services


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