Patricia Polacco is a wonderful author’s study for third graders! Third graders will learn the definition of a “Memoir,” look through Patricia Polacco’s book at her illustrations and notice who and how she draws. They will make predictions about what Patricia Polacco writes about. The students will then read several mini-biographies about Patricia Polacco to determine the “memories” she has that she might want to write about.
To the class, the teacher will read several of Patricia Polacco’s cultural books, discussing and writing some anchor charts of the “elements of fiction” in her stories, the theme, and the main characters’ traits.
In pairs, students can independently read one of Patricia Polacco’s books, answering questions to show that they can identify the elements of this story, make personal connections, and choose a character’s traits and show evidence from the story, and choose a theme.
This is great modeling to guide the teacher and help a student be independent to identify the elements of fiction, while reading and thinking deeply about the author.