Enter, I'm in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor. I found this book via another school's writing workshop unit plan's suggested title! SCORE! The book's central character is a Native American girl. Everyone thinks she's lonely living out in the desert. Who'd want to live there? Great connection the Southwest - right Social Studies teachers? But, it's just the opposite. She names off all the plants and animals that live there and states that she could never be lonely! She then goes on to talk about how she's in charge of celebrating special days in her life. Not her birthday or holidays like we'd think of... but days when special things out of the ordinary happen. She has a triple rainbow day. A green cloud day (for some reason this is ALWAYS my students favorite), a dust devil day, etc.
Here's an except for the Dust Devil Day.
After reading a few or all of her special celebrations... I have students think of special moments in their life - big or small that they would want to celebrate. We jot them down on a chart so that we can use them for writing inspiration later in the year. We have some prompts on the chart to help get some of our students thinking... The first time I.... My favorite... I got this scar when... etc.
*Wish I had thought to take some pictures of the students' journals... maybe tomorrow!
Fifth in the Middle's Native American linky party going on right now! There are many more great ideas being shared!
Hope everyone's having a great week!