I read aloud Cynthia Rylant's autobiography, Best Wishes. It's from a great series of different authors' autobiographies called "Meet the Author." I chose Best Wishes because it goes back and forth between past and present, so transition words are essential. (It also gave the kids an interesting snapshot of the life of a successful writer!) Although it's non-fiction, it still uses time-order transition words. After the read aloud, students got together with their writing partners to retell the events of Cynthia's life with a summary that included fill-in-the-blank transition words. I know I can't be the only one struggling with teaching.... and reteaching.... and reteaching... this tricky writing skill, so I wanted to share my little resource!
Click HERE to download it from TpT!
After doing this author study a couple times, I've decided my favorite book by Cynthia Rylant would have to be In November. It's the perfect mentor text to teach show-don't-tell and sensory writing. The language and illustrations are beautiful in every scene. I will read it next month and then have my students publish their own book, In February.
Why wait until this time of year to read In November? So they can't be copycats!