Illustrators #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Reading and writing have always been taught together in my classroom. There is also lots of bookmaking for students and for me.

I used to take all the words they needed to know and would make books of text for them to practice reading before there were sites like Teacher Pay Teacher and Pinterest.

When teaching about what the author does in writing a book we also talk about illustrators. Throughout the years as I have met countless children’s book authors. I was surprised to learn that the writer often does not get to choose the illustrator for their books. They are sometimes randomly assigned. Sometimes requests are made but they are not always honored by the publisher.

Several authors talked about how the placement of words on the page is also chosen by the illustrator and sometimes will change the way the story is read. The illustrator has more power than I once thought.

I have always modeled how to draw certain things simply since I cannot just ask students to do something when I haven’t given them an example. I have used stick people to show how to make people more “fleshy”.

Yesterday I read Mo Willems book: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

I learned years ago when I saw him speak at an International Reading Association conference that he drew the pigeon the way he did on purpose so even young children could write their own pigeon books.

Today one of my individual students wrote about sheep using the book she just read as a model. I showed her how to use swirls to make it look fuzzy. Then she said to me, “I’m going to make the curlies up to the neck!”

I was reminded of the joy of drawing with my students today!

What brought you joy today?

5 thoughts on “Illustrators #SOL22

  1. That sheep. Oh my. So sweet. I loved reading this. Also, I had no idea that authors don’t always get to choose their illustrators!


  2. The joy of sharing Mo Willems and the Pigeon with students is like filling a hot air balloon and going for a ride. The sheep your student drew is adorable. There is also a video clip I have used of Mo Willems sharing how to draw Piggie!


  3. Tammy, it is powerful when reading and writing are taught side by side. It is so helpful to model drawing – kids are able to be successful.It sounds like you have a literary rich classroom-lucky kiddos!
    I never knew that Mo Willems drew Pigeon the way he did so kids could emulate the quixotic character. Have you shared Knuffle Bunny with your class? I adore MO’s books, they bring me joy.


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