Katie Wood Ray states that writing is about communicating meaning. Further, that the elements of good writing can be demonstrated through illustrations. She provides research based data and explains how to do this.
Three great reasons to read this book!!
- It teaches children stamina for writing by supporting their work as illustrators. For example, in creating books over a period of days, children learn the importance of adding details. Another example, children considering color, depth, media and learn that writers and illustrators make endless decisions as they compose. This opens up dialog of how the writing and illustrating process are very similar.
- It provides teachers with a framework on how to include illustrative study into the writer’s workshop. Specifically, Ray defines planning and implementing an illustrative study unit using this framework:
1. Gather: A stack of books for study (at least 1 book for every 2 students).
2. Expect: Be sure the students understand what they are studying and your expectations.
3. Immerse: Shower the students with reading and talking about these books as well as discussing things that are noticed.
4. Study: Look at these books closely in order to articulate the text and create charts about it.
5. Write: Both teachers and students need to write and be articulate about their writing.
- She provides 50 illustration techniques and how they relate to the qualities of “Good Writing.” One suggestion is to organize books that the teacher knows and putting them together by:
- Something to Notice-Names the illustrative technique
- Illustrative Example-Provides an example of what this looks like in a picture book.
- An Understanding for Young Writers and Illustrators-Involves thinking to model with the technique.
- In a Teacher’s Voice: An Idea for Trying it Out-Provides a script when discussing the use of this technique with students.
- A Writing Connection-makes the composing connection between writing and illustrating. This section provides the justification for conducting illustrative studies.
Ray, K.W. (2010). In pictures and in words: Teaching the qualities of good writing through illustrative study. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.