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How to Say Hello to a Worm by Kari Percival

I will tell you something that I have realized about myself. I look at books as mentors first these days. I hope to find the perfect books to show students how authors do what they do and they, the students, can be the same kind of writers. Books that show a fresh way of doing things or an attainable way of doing things. Especially difficult to find are those mentor text that show everything we might want to show, especially if the people we want to show, the writers we want to try out this new idea, are five.

That’s right. This is a How to book for kindergarten aspiring writers, but it’s not a book about how to make a peanut butter sandwich, how to brush your teeth or wash your hands. This is a book full of carefully crafted, beautiful illustrated how-to’s about being outside and making a garden. I’ll let you watch the author read a few minutes before I go on. This is a facebook link, so you may have to google How to Say Hello to a Worm to view.

So now that you’ve taken a minute to view this magical little book, may I suggest that it has labels, a simple straight forward procedure for the how to part, and illustrations that we can use to help students create illustrations of their own. Perfect, right? Let’s take a closer look.

here with just a few words and simple illustrations is the whole process of planting a seed. Creatively told by using action words. Sprinkle, pat, water (but a simpler word). Why did the author repeat those words sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle?

an introduction. A second grade skill, we can illustrate to kindergarten students how an author might start a book. How do you plant lettuce seeds?
Here Kari Percival gives the reader a how-to they may have never thought of. Would you say hello to a worm? What else in the garden might you say hello to? A dog? A rabbit? A bee? Again simple illustrations zoomed in and labels artfully added.

This is the type of book that I could drop off with a teacher and the class could take off or I might drop in to do a quick book creation in a shared writing, whole or small group. Perfect for spring of kindergarten when a science unit might often include planting or life cycles, you will love this book in your primary library but even our older students could study the author’s craft.

You’ll hear the students begin to ask, why did the author do this? I could put this in my book.

I like to introduce the author to the writers. Here is Kari Percival and some biographical information about her here.

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