Continuing the conversation with Melanie Ellsworth: PBJamz connections and concepts and fiction as the front porch for Non-fiction (per Lester Laminack)
Sometimes I have such rich discussions with my guests after I've already signed off for PBJamz, so with Melanie's permission, I wanted to share this bit of discussion after our official interview ended. She and I talked about the dream for PBJamz and how it came about, the value of so many connections, and I share a bit about a presentation from Lester Laminack, NC author, professor, and excellent teacher, as he talked about using fiction as the front porch for non-fiction. This isn't a full episode of PBJamz, but I thought you might find it valuable. We'll extend Melanie's giveaway for one more week -- through 11:59 PM June 1. Just leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing for a signed copy of CLARINET AND TRUMPET.
And if you missed last week and want to know more about Melanie's books, inspirations and more, check it out here: https://melanieellsworth.com
Speaking of CLARINET AND TRUMPET, it's a fictional piece, but we could pair it with a number of non-fiction texts, depending up on the questions and curiosities of the students. (If you get a chance to hear Lester speak about using fiction as the front porch for non-fiction, please do! ). These are just my thoughts and application in terms of PBJamz, but there was so much more to his excellent presentation! To find out more about Lester's books, heart, and work, check out his website here: https://www.lesterlaminack.com
Why is this important?
For teachers (music and regular classroom and any other kind of teacher) --I'd like to encourage you to create your own paired text sets --a few engaging fiction books on a topic you'd like to teach, and then a slew of various nonfiction texts where students can find the answers to the questions that are bound to crop up when they read/listen. BTW, texts includes magazine and newspaper articles, etc. -- not JUST books. . .and in a variety of levels.
For authors of PBs, be sure you are building in sufficient layers for your picture book to encourage questions in kids (and adults). The more layers, the more questions, and the more potential answers. Also, back matter -- hello! When you get the opportunity, you can build some of the answers right into your back matter -- even though it's a fiction book!
Teacher challenge: Find a few of your favorite fiction books. See what non-fiction topics are inherent in those books and begin building your own front porch set. :-). Fiction and NF on the same topics.
Author challenge: Take a look at your fiction WIP -- do you reference any non-fiction topics in the book? What questions might your book lead kids to? Can you answer any of those in back matter? Do you have enough layers to inspire some questions?
It's been a different sort of episode this week, but I hope you enjoy it anyway! Next week, we have an amazing traditional episode coming up! Don't miss it! We'll be talking to an author/illustrator team who got an agent together and publish together exclusively! Every been to a rock concert at recess? We're taking you there next week! Join us again!
This page is the official space for PBJamz -- multimedia Jamorama celebrating all things PB (picture books) and Jamz (music), although we'll indulge in the other PBJ snacks where appropriate :-). Join us each Thursday for new content connecting picture books and music!