If you’ve been taking part in the 14th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge, then you know that a slice of life story is a storytelling technique that offers insight into an ordinary person’s life. Often, a slice of life story is about a small segment of a person’s day. Usually it’s about a small moment in time. It might be a collection of words and photos that describe a scenario.
Through the years, I’ve adopted a motto. That is, I’m “always seeking to make life’s ordinary moments extraordinary” through my slice of life writing. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing this through the years (It helps that I don’t lead a glamorous life!), but it’s taken a lot of practice.
Extraordinary! is written in verse by Penny Harrison and is beautifully illustrated by Katie Wilson. It is a “gentle tale about reaching for the stars and being extraordinary . . . but remembering the ordinary too. Extraordinary! celebrates the best moments in life: the ones we share with friends and family. They may be simple, they may be ordinary, but they are moments we will cherish forever. From the moment readers encounter the initial page spread, they are transported into a world that invites them to think about the extraordinary things they wish, hope, and dream they could do in life. But this book doesn’t just celebrate the extraordinary. Quite the contrary. It asks the reader:
But what of the ordinary, everyday thing?
The soft, quiet moment that makes the world sing?
Readers are instructed to observe the natural world closely. They’re encouraged to dig in the dirt and discover the wonder of food growing in a garden. They’re invited to linger in simple pleasures like kite flying, roasting marshmallows in a camp fire, snuggling with a loved one, and feeling the breeze as they glide through the air on a swing. Basically, readers are encouraged to remember that the ordinary can be extraordinary.
Whether you’re about to embark on the 9th Annual Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge or you’re about to begin a unit on poetry where you want to encourage students to capture the beauty of their ordinary lives in verse, consider using Extraordinary! as a mentor text. Read it aloud. Talk about the pictures. Use the help students generate a personal and class lists of ordinary and extraordinary things they can write about.
Here’s a peek inside of Extraordinary!
- This giveaway is for a copy of Extraordinary! Many thanks to Kane Miller for donating a copy for one reader.
- For a chance to win this copy of Extraordinary!, please leave a comment about this post by Saturday, March 27th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Tuesday, March 30th. You must have a U.S. mailing address to enter the giveaway.
- Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Kane Miller will ship your book out to you. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
- If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – EXTRAORDINARY. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.
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Cheryl Reynolds’ commenter number was selected so she’ll win a copy of Extraordinary!
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).