I love to teach writing by using mentor text. . . students can learn how to write by standing on the shoulders of wonderful writers. . . Douglas Wood for instance. His book, A Quiet Place, is such an example. I have shared with students in grades 1-5, and with adults in a university conference. The illustrator is Dan Andreasen and his pictures will delight you.
“Sometimes a person needs a quiet place.
A place to rest your ears from bells ringing and
whistles shrieking and
grown-ups talking and
engines roaring and
horns blaring and
grown-ups talking . . .
The book goes on to give you ideas. . . after reading the book as a reader and enjoying the text and wonderful illustrations, read it again as a writer. Students will enjoy the amazing craft of good writing. Then I give an invitation to (students or adults) write about their favorite quiet place. What is your quiet place?
As a child, I loved going down in the basement at my Grandma’s house . . . even though it smelled a little musty, and I heard the roar of the sump pump on some rainy days . . .I loved that place. Behind the furnace was a bookcase of wonderful, yellowed books that my mom and aunts had enjoyed when they were my age. I would snuggle in behind the furnace and read. . . Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew and others. I was taken away from the chatter of family and clanging of pots and pans, devouring the words like a mid morning snack . . . becoming the characters. . . I loved that quiet place.
Now my quiet place is my gazebo on my patio. . . I can sit and read or write . . . pondering the days gone by and wondering about the days to come. The birds are chattering, the breeze is blowing through the nearby pines. The wind chimes have a gentle song. The skies of blue and clouds of white. . .it is a pretty wonderful world! I love my quiet place.