Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories

The Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Unit engages students in informational and narrative reading and writing. Students conduct visual and written research on an animal of their choosing, study narrative structure through analyzing quality picture books, and develop a fact-based storyline that includes information about the animal’s habitat as well as a realistic problem and solution. Several simple texturing techniques are added to students’ repertoire to provide them with a wide range of visual tools with which to add detail to their stories. Storyboards, accordion folders, community word banks, and specially designed brainstorming sheets provide the scaffolding necessary to insure a detailed and captivating story. Students learn how to bring their stories to life through the artful marriage of image and text.

Research-Based Animal Stories Instructional Materials

Instructional Videos



The Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Instructional Video offers a 30-minute narrated visual overview of the entire Picturing Writing inquiry-based narrative unit which combines informational reading and writing with narrative reading and writing. Drawing from a wide range of photographs of students engaged in this animal story unit, Beth walks teachers step-by-step through the entire process. Aligned with lessons in the teachers manual, this new visual resource is available as part of a Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Instructional Video Package.

Instructional Video Package includes the narrated instructional overview described above, an awareness video filmed in the classroom, the teachers manual, all 5 Picturing Writing mentor texts, all 5 posters, an Artists/Writers Workshop Poster, and an Artists Frame.

(Inquire about group rates for multiple copies of printed materials.)

$250
Watch Video Clip: Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories

The Picturing Writing/Image-Making Introductory Awareness Video offers a lively overview of the Picturing Writing and Image-Making processes. Visit first- and second-grade classrooms with fairly high numbers of at-risk students who are in the process of creating Picturing Writing and Image-Making Research-Based Animal Stories. Watch students as they work in earnest to craft their own literary masterpieces; witness their exceptional work; and listen to their compelling reflections as they describe their experiences. Observe how these two art-based approaches to literacy learning level the playing field, allowing all students to succeed.

$20
Watch Video Clip: Introduction to Picturing Writing and Image-Making
Watch Video Clip: Overview of Picturing Writing

Teachers Manual



The Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Manual offers detailed art and writing lessons and a wide array of masters to facilitate this unit of study. This manual is distributed as part of a hands-on Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Workshop or as part of the Instructional Video Package for this unit of study.


Mentor Texts



Baby Otter’s Ocean Adventure by Rhea Hannah Daniel presents an exceptionally well-crafted 5-page Picturing Writing research-based animal story created by a third grader. Its brightly colored crayon resist paintings and vivid language make this book a very engaging mentor text. Modeling changes in perspective and color to move the reader through the story visually, this story also contains strong lead sentences, a hook, and transitional words and phrases to draw the reader into the story. Through the use of descriptive language, Rhea creates dramatic tension around the problem and a sense of relief around the solution. She also establishes a strong sense of resolution at the end of her story. The book includes a Did you know… informational text page at the back, accompanied by a scientific drawing of her animal, and concludes with reflections about the process on the About the Artist/Writer page. This mentor text can be used to teach many of the art and writing lessons found in the teachers manual.

$18

Baby Penguin’s Close Call by Beth Olshansky was created as a mentor text for the Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories Unit. This 5-page story models a combination of crayon resist with several other simple art techniques to add texture and detail to each page. This story sequence uses changes in perspective, color, and texture to move the reader through the story. Each painting and each page of writing addresses a specific literary element through the parallel languages of pictures and words. The text has been carefully crafted to make each painting come alive through the use of strong verbs. The book includes a Did you know… informational text page and a scientific drawing at the back as well as reflections about the process on the About the Artist/Writer page. This book was designed to provide an exemplar for the many art and writing lessons in the Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Stories manual.

$18

Raccoon’s Getaway was written by Ms. Taylor’s second-grade class to crayon resist paintings by Beth Olshansky. This 4-page Picturing Writing research-based animal story grew out of a series of class modeling sessions. It offers examples of several supplemental art techniques (watercolor & salt, plastic wrap prints, scratch technique, and tissue clouds) which enrich both the images and the text. This book can be used to teach a variety of lessons including how to develop a strong sense of setting, dramatic tension around the problem, a sense of relief, and finally, a sense of resolution at the end of the story. The book contains a lengthy informational text piece and a scientific drawing at the back.

$15

Clownfish Hides by Lexi Grahame is a 5-page Picturing Writing ocean story created by a second grader. It offers a well-crafted text and detailed crayon resist paintings. This story can be used to teach a variety of lessons, including how to establish a strong sense of setting as well as how to create dramatic tension on the problem page and a sense of relief on the solution page.  

$18

Midnight Escape by teacher Robyn Parker offers a stunning 5-page Picturing Writing animal story that can be used to teach many of the art and writing lessons in the teachers manual. With both images and text artfully crafted to address all the key elements of a good story, this book has become a favorite resource.  

$18

Posters

The Times of Day Poster contains examples of 7 different times of day with varying interesting ground-lines and reflected light to support students’ Time of Day study or consideration of when their animal is awake – 11″x 17″ laminated. Available in English or French.

$8

The Winter Techniques Poster contains examples of 8 different winter techniques that can be used to enhance students’ crayon resist paintings and descriptive language for stories set in the winter or in northern climates – 11″x 17″ laminated. Available in English or French. 

$8

The Ocean Techniques Poster contains examples of 8 different ocean techniques that can be used to enhance the crayon resist paintings and descriptive language of any ocean stories – 11″x 17” laminated.  

$8

The Setting Techniques Poster contains examples of 18 simple art techniques for sky, land, and water that can be used to enhance the  crayon resist paintings and descriptive language in many integrated curriculum stories – 17″x 30″ laminated.  

$20
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