Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Mice and Beans: A Story Within A Story - Section 4: Independent Writing


So what does their writing demonstrate?

One student states clearly states that the author writes Mice and Beans because it is about a big gathering, which is true. And she includes how it is about a grandmother who loved to cook. What is missing?  I was hoping this writer would have stated, "Mice and Beans is about a big gathering because when the author was young she used to be part of many big family gatherings." Something along these lines would have been good.

The piece InterestingReasons shares how the kitchen smelled of garlic and that is why the author wanted to write Mice and Beans. Also, and more importantly this writer talks about how Mice and Beans is about a grandmother and a birthday party. She gets at the gist of why the grandmother spends so much time in the kitchen.

Another student wrote a sentence that says that the author wrote this book because of how her grandmother's house smelled. She made the connection but I was hoping to see more details since I took the time to write a bubble map of the kitchen smells.  

Lastly, another student does mention that she uses her imagination in writing Mice and Beans. This writer does not specifically state what was the imaginative part of the story. Those would have been good details to include.

Overall, I feel my students scratched the surface in their analysis. I am thinking I could have improved their understanding by going back into the story in the anthology and have my students look carefully at the two pages where the author uses a photograph from her family and an illustration of the book, Mice and Beans, to show how she thought of her family in writing the story. On one page there is a picture of her grandmother next to an illustration showing the grandmother in Mice and Beans. In the other page, there is a photograph of her son's birthday next to an illustration of Mice and Beans showing a birthday party. In teaching this lesson again, I would definitely add this piece.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Independent Writing
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Mice and Beans: A Story Within A Story

Unit 4: Stirring Up Memories, An Autobiography
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT ask and answer questions to analyze why the author wrote one of her stories, Mice and Beans.

Big Idea: We can use our memories and our imagination to write stories. Weaving the fictional with family traditions can result in a humorous tale.

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