Title: Jeffrey and the Sloth
Author: Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrator: Ben Hodson
Published: 2007 Orca Book Publishing
Have you ever suffered from writer's block? I find myself afflicted with this often. In the book, Jeffrey and the Sloth, Jeffrey accidentally stumbles upon a way to combat his writer's block through doodling. With just a glance at the title page, students will immediately relate to Jeffrey. You see him standing in the doorway of his room staring at a blank sheet of paper on his desk. The defeated look on his face says it all. Instead of writing, Jeffrey begins to doodle and his doodle comes to life!
Use this book to inspire creative writing in elementary students. Give each student a blank sheet of paper and ask them to create their own doodle (making sure that they create at least 1 character in the doodle). Once the doodle is created, have students exchange papers and write a first person narrative as the doodle. Use the following questions as a guide:
- What is your name?
- Do you have a nickname? How did you get it? Be specific.
- Where are you from?
- Where do you live? Describe it. Is it messy, neat, what kinds of things are there?
- What is your favorite thing to do. Why?
- If you could ask the artist to change one thing about you, what would you change and why?
If you want to know more about this book or how the author conquered her own writer's block, visit Kari-Lynn Winters' website.
[show_avatar email@example.com align=left] Keisa Williams (aka Ms. K) is a K-5 School Librarian at Monarch Academy, a public charter school in Oakland, CA. She is certified in secondary and elementary education (MLIS and MEd) and loves collaborating with teachers and integrating technology into her library lessons. She considers herself a “Technology Diva” and “Gadget Junkie”.