Studio Storytelling: Writer's Workshop in the Atelier

Today, the children were welcomed to a new bookmaking and illustration provocation. To begin, we read the book Ish by Peter H. Reynolds. We discussed how the Illustrations matched the words, as well as the message of the story. In Ish, a little boy loves to draw but grows frustrated when his drawings don’t look exactly as he intended. He decides to give up until his sister shows him that they are “vase-ish”, “fish-ish”, etc. She has secretly been collecting his discarded drawings and turning them into a gallery in her bedroom! Seeing this, Peter takes to the concept of “Ish”, and embraces the beauty and individuality in his work. This is one of my favorites, as it encourages such confidence in our children! We then began to discuss what their own story could be about. The consensus was to make a book about their mothers. They worked cooperatively on the first and second pages and even had their moms interacting in their drawings! They let me know what their page was going to say as they wrote familiar letters to be read. They were then introduced (or re-familiarized) with chalk pastels, and were quick to understand how to manipulative them by blending and shading with their fingers. This made for a beautiful medium in adding color to their illustrations. New groups of children will now be given the opportunity to add to our collaborative book!


What will your story be about?

Alaya: My mommy.

Genesis: *nods in approval*


Genesis: This is my mama.

Alaya: Gotta see mommy. I forgot the forehead (holds mirror to her drawing).

Genesis: (now holds the mirror to her drawing) A lock for a ball to fly.

What do you mean?

Genesis: Hi mama and the ball!

Hi Sadik! Would you like to add a drawing of your mommy to the story?

Sadik: It’s my moms. My moms is fighting.


Genesis: What is that? What is this (pointing to different words in a story book)? *draws the letter S* I did it… sssss. Now I want to do this one…

Alaya: *begins to form letters on a sheet of notebook paper and then references them when writing on the story page*


Sadik: Look at my rojo (shows me his pastel covered finger)!


Wesley: My (mom) play ball.

Samaria: S-a-m-a-r-i-a… I have to put my name.


Samaria: She’s (mom) sad ‘cause everybody ran away from her and then she got an idea (draws imagination bubble).

Wesley: My moms got a bike.

Samaria: It was bout can her friends to play with her and then they said ok.

Wesley: She just pushed the pedals..

Samaria: And then my mommy will tell me that she play with her friends.

Wesley: I can’t do it!

You did do it! It’s bike-ish… just like in our story!

Jalaya: *joins in* Bike-ish like in the book. That sound fun.

Samaria: I’ma make my face with these (pastels) ‘cause they my favorite. Now I gotta write words with them ‘cause I’m blending my words.

Jalaya: I’ma draw my mommy right here. She gonna be drivin’. Now she walkin’ with her arms up. I’ma get the brown ‘cause my mommy brown. This her car. This her new hat.

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