Using Illustrations to Trigger Memories

I met a fantastic educator, Susie Barcus, from Fort Worth, TX when I attended the August Writing Institute at TCRWP.  We worked together in a small group where we shared some of our favorite “early in the school year” minilessons.  She shared a minilesson with the following teaching point: Writers use illustrations to trigger memories and get ideas for writing.  I wasn’t sure where she was going with the minilesson at first.  But as she demonstrated the way she looked at a book cover, thought about memories it brought to mind, and then jotted down those memories, I wished I had this one in my repertoire when I was in the classroom.  When I eventually go back to a classroom of my own, I know I will infuse this one into my launching unit of study.  Until then, I thought it would be a great minilesson to share with you.

Susie graciously shared some of the resources she uses for this minilesson, which you can download by clicking on the links below.

A tip from Susie: Since students have a smattering of interests and life experiences, you’ll want to have a variety of books kids can examine so they can jot down ideas of things they can write about.