The Best Part of Me (a photo-driven book project)
These lessons and student writing samples were inspired by
The Best Part of Me,
a beautiful book created by
Prompts to spark idea development:
After reading sample excerpts from the text, provide prompts for brainstorming. Here are a few prompts suggested by GVWP Teacher Consultant Melissa King:
• Focus on one part of your body that you love (or would most hate to lose).
• What are the physical characteristics of your ____?
Use precise words and comparisons to help others visualize details:
- size (about the size of...)
- shape/form (shaped like a...)
- close-up details
- transparency (can you see past the surface?)
- reflectivity (dull or shiny?)
- textures (rough, smooth, fuzzy, velvety, firm, soft, etc.)
- what else can you feel by touch? (heat, pulse, moisture, etc.)
• How does your ___ resemble an inanimate object: (a plant, toy, machine, etc.)?
• In what ways does your ___ help you have fun?
• In what ways does your ___ help you accomplish important things?
• When you think about your ___, what emotions do you feel?
• If you want to mention one thing about your ___ that you don't like, what is it?
• In what ways does your ___ trigger POSITIVE associations (pleasantly reminding you of people, animals, objects, places, or events)?
WORD WALL: It often helps to have students share their brainstorming orally, recording descriptive language on sentence strips or charts to create a Word Wall. (Older students can do this through a "Carousel" activity, where small groups rotate from chart to chart, using colored markers to add words to each chart.)
> Learn more about Word Walls.
> Learn more about Carousel activities.
Lesson Plan for 2nd-5th grade
Barbara Kurtzman Phillips shares structured ideas to guide students as they plan content for both photography and writing. The creative planning is evident in their narrated photo book.
Lesson Plan for 3rd-5th Grade
Genia Connell shares a lesson plan for 3rd-5th
grade students at Scholastic.com
Resources for Rhyming Poem Assignment:
4th grade student samples (rhymed poems) from Molly at LessonsWithLaughter.com
More rhymed poetry models for 3rd-5th grades:
• "My Feet" by Ken Nesbitt
• "Belly Button Magic" by Richard Leavesley
• "Ears" by Max Fatchen
• "My Legs and I" by Leland B. Jacobs
Writing Models for middle-school & high school grades:
"My Mother's Hands" by Kate Dudding
(this is a beautifully-written "mentor text" from an adult writer)
Other model poems for teen writers:
• “Brown Skin” by Danielle (Teen Ink contributor)
• “Why I Love My Brown Skin” by Ty Alexander
• "Lil Heartbeat" by Victoria Koslak
• "If Ears Had Lips" by Del Maximo
• “Lips” by lizzywhothefunkyone
The web-published student projects that appear in the next column provide more great models for writing lessons. Some serve as exemplary models, while others could be used as a starting point to rehearse procedures and model constructive conversations for peer-response conferences.
We once featured a link to this book, but the original webpages are no longer online. If you have a Kindergarten sample, we'd love to share it here!
“The Best Part of Me” student projects created by third graders
in Kimmie Read’s classroom at Pope Elementary (2012-13)
“The Best Part of Me” student projects created by students
in Mrs Thonus' 4th grade classroom (2006-07).