My class has been venturing into new writing territory by shifting our focus from small moment stories to many moments stories. We first looked at Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson and noticed how she wrote a story about a little sister copying everything her big sister, Kyla, did throughout the story. After reading the book to my first-graders, I asked what did they notice about how Angela Johnson wrote this book. They were very quick to pick up on the repeating words “I do like Kyla”, but there was some confusion about was it a small moment story or something else. Most of my students thought it was a small moment story so I used my necklace to show them the difference between a story written about one moment (one silver circle on my chain) compared to a story written about many moments (several silver circles on my chain) connected by repeating lines.

I preceded to read them another Johnson book titled Joshua by the Sea and we discussed how this story was not about Joshua just doing one thing as he did in Joshua’s Night Whispers. This story was different because it talked about different things he did at the beach all connected with the repeating lines of “I am Joshua”.  Over the next couple of days I read more many moment stories to my class to help them get a better idea of what a many moment story looked like. I read Cynthia Rylant’s When I Was Young in the Mountains and Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. My students seemed to understand what a many moments story was, but no one was giving it a try with regards to using repeating lines to connect the moments.

This week, I decided to write my own many moments story to show my students how to take many moments and connect them with repeating lines. I cheated by using images from Google instead of drawing my own illustrations. Below is my story I titled My Silly Brother.

p. 1 In the morning at breakfast, my little brother blows bubbles in his milk. He is so silly.

p. 2 My mom tells him to go get dressed and when he comes back, he’s wearing his shirt inside out. He is so silly.

p. 3 In the car, he tries to put the seat belt on while upside down. He is so silly.

p. 4 On the way to daycare, he sings the alphabet song with a robot voice. He is so silly.

p. 5 I stay in the car while dad walks him into daycare. I watch him walk like a monkey as he holds dad’s hand. He is so silly.

P. 6 In the afternoon, we go to pick up my little brother from daycare. He comes out wearing his book bag backwards. He is so silly.

p. 7 On the way home, we stop to get popsicles. He asks for my stick and puts both of them up his nose. He is so silly.

p. 8 Before dinner when no one is looking, my little brother puts his old baby clothes on our puppy. He is so silly.

p. 9 When getting ready for bed, he brushes his teeth with his finger. He is so silly, but I love him.

Once again this week I encouraged my students to try to use repeating words to connect many moments together in a story. I finally had one student to experiment with this new type of writing! It might not blow your socks off, but I was very proud of him to actually try and he was so proud of himself when he was reading his book to the class. His classmates were very quick to see that he repeated the word “look” throughout his story. I made a big deal out of his story so I hope to see more of my first-graders writing many moments stories in the future.

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Front Cover ~ The Time Me and Lance and Levi Lost the Super Bowl

p. 1 I was going to our super bowl. It is in Elkin. Look.

p. 2 illustration of his car going down the mountain

p. 3. I got there. Look.

p. 4 illustration of the football field

p. 5 Now we played. Look. Touchdown Elkin.

p. 6 illustration of football field and scoreboard 6 to 0

p. 7 We lost to Elkin. Look.

p. 8 illustration of the scoreboard  Trojans 6 Elkin 14

Back Cover ~ They win the trophies. The End.

Side note: This is a true story. The first and second grade team went all season undefeated only to lose in the super bowl. I was there. It was very sad.


4 thoughts on “Many Moments Stories

  1. I love the Angela Jonson books that you read. You also remind me of ones I haven’t read in awhile! Thanks for that! I think it was clever how you used you necklace to explain a many moments story, how they are linked together. Nice job. The example you shared was an entertaining one. What a nice moment to share, clearly he remembered the experience and not just the ending score.


  2. Your students writing has progressed so much! I have enjoyed reading your post this week and those written over the semester. They have really embraced this idea of writing about moments in time. I love that he was able to recall so many details but even more importantly he was able to turn them into a story! I feel like this is a huge deal for a 1st grade writer in that he was also successful in writing with the guide of a mentor text! Awesome share this week!


  3. Penny,
    I loved the way you modeled for your students on what your expectation was. The results of their writing shows that they comprehended what you shared with them. They have really showed growth and are becoming great writers.


  4. I love the fact that you have taken Lucy Calkins’ unit of study and ran with it! 🙂 You are truly an inspiration to me as a teacher. You have searched and found the books that the unit suggests and even purchased some to give your students the full effect of Lucy’s unit. I had read very few of Angela Johnson’s books until seeing them in your blog. Her literature is the perfect mentor text for our first grade writers . Thank you for sharing the journey through this unit of study with us all.


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