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Authors as Mentors: Apprenticing Ourselves to Alice Schertle. Writing Unit 7: Part 1.

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Authors as mentors apprenticing ourselves to alice schertle l.jpg

Authors as Mentors:

Apprenticing Ourselves to

Alice Schertle

Writing Unit 7: Part 1

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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“When I was very young,” says Alice Schertle, “perhaps three or four, I remember sitting with a heavy book in my lap, running my fingers down the printed pages, puzzling over how adults could translate those strange squiggly symbols into the wonderful stories and poems they read to me. Eventually, I did unlock the secret of the squiggles, and I haven’t stopped reading since.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Alice reads anything and everything, fiction and nonfiction, but there is a special place in her heart for poetry. “There are things a poem can say that cannot be expressed as effectively in any other way. I love to find a poem that shows me something, creates an image, perhaps, that is so startling, so original, so unique, only one particular poet could have thought of it. But at the same time, the image, the idea is so true, so right that I find myself saying, “Yes! I knew that!”

Alice Schertle is the author of more than forty books for children. Several of the most recent are collections of poetry. “One of the few things as wonderful as reading a good poem is writing one,” she says. “I love writing poetry difficult, absorbing, frustrating, satisfying, maddening, intriguing. I love it. If, at the end of a day of pondering, discarding, rewriting line after line, I can read my poem and say to myself, “This one works,” it’s been a good day.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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When she isn’t writing poetry, Alice is often working on picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories.

Poetry

If I decide to write the story in verse, I’ve just made the whole process a lot harder. I’ll throw out whole pages while searching for words that sound as if they really belong in the story and aren’t there just because they rhyme. Verse stories are great fun, though, once the words fall into place and the rhythm starts carrying me along.”

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Alice Schertle Book Titles picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories.

In My Treehouse

All You Need for a Snowman

That Olive

Goodnight, Hattie, My Dearie, My Love

Maisie

Down the Road

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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How does Alice Schertle Get Ideas for Her Books? picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories.

Alice grounds all of her books in the real experiences she has had as an elementary teacher, volunteer librarian, and mother of three. She lives in a country house where she raises horses, chickens, dogs, and cats. All of these creatures appear at some point in one of more places in her books. Alice is also an avid collector of children’s books.

Her book, Maisie, was inspired by memories of her own mother. In that book, Walter plays the banjo just like Alice Schertle’s real father did when he was 93 years old.

Her book, In My Treehouse, was written after Schertle spent a great deal of time observing her real son, John, sitting in his backyard retreat. She has said, “ I can promise you, the ants part is true.”

Writing Awards Alice Schertle Has Won

ALA Notable Children’s Books Award for:

How Now, Brown Cow? and Down the Road.

The 1989-1990 Christopher Award for William and Grandpa

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers discover topics to write about like Alice picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories. Schertle does.

They think about “Real Experiences”

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories. Get Our Ideas from REAL LIFE.

Writers think about moments

that happen in their lives.

1. Writers think about people or animals …

parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents, friends, dogs or cats, etc.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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  • Writers picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories. think of events or things that happen in their lives –

  • school, PE, lunch time,

  • happy times, sad times, scary

  • times, holidays, family times, exciting times, etc.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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  • 3 picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories. . They think of places where things happen –

  • home, school, church, aftercare, vacations, sports, activities (gymnastics, baseball, bowling, etc.).

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers keep a “ picture books. She sometimes writes the ending first. “I love to bring a story full circle to a logical and satisfying way,” she explains. “I sometimes think of a concluding scene or paragraph or phrase, and build a whole story leading up to it. The plot doesn’t have to be extremely dramatic; sometimes very simple situation make the best stories. brainstorm list”

of things they could write about.

*Vacation small moments

- airplane ride

- skiing

- dinner at grandma’s

- cousin’s house

- building a snowman

- snow angels

-grandma’s false teeth

(hee hee)

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers read like a writer by stopping to notice particular writing strategies.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle



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Writers create particular writing strategies

a beginning like

Alice Schertle that puts the reader in the setting.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers create beginnings like Alice particular writing strategiesSchertle by using a

“story like setting beginning”.

Setting beginnings include when the story takes place…

- the time of day: morning, afternoon,

evening, dawn, sunset…

- the month: In early September…

- the time of year: Late last winter

Season… Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Setting beginnings include wherethe story takes place…

- where: in my back yard

at the beach

at school

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers plan their stories like Alice does by particular writing strategiesmaking a movie in our minds.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers slow down the whole event by making a “movie” in their minds.

Picture in your mind what you HEARD.

Picture in your mind what you SAW.

Think about the

“internal stories”…

… what you were feeling,

your reactions, thoughts,

and observations.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers begin to write their first story scene the way Alice does.

They “paint” a picture for the reader.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Story Scene _____ does.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers does.

elaborate details or stretch out their paragraphs within story scenes like Alice Schertle does.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers create an does.ending to their story the same way Alice Schertle has ended some of her books by doing a “full circle” ending.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers discover that does.punctuation is a powerful, almost magical tool, to use so that a reader can read what is written.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers like does.

Alice Schertle use paragraphs to separate thoughts, ideas, or small moments within a scene.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Story Setting _____________________________________ does.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scene I__________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scene 2_________________________________________

_______________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scene 3 _________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Close in the Moment Ending ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers publish their work so that others can enjoy their small moment stories.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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Writers celebrate their growth in writing small moment stories.

Writing Unit 7-Authors as Mentors - Alice Schertle


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