Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

The CowThat Went OINK is a wonderful book for beginning ESL students.  It is a story about a cow that speaks a different language than its peers.  The cow is sad until it meets another animal who comes up with an idea that will help them both.  Delightfully illustrated and easy for all students to understand, The Cow That Went OINK gives ESL students a medium with which to express their own frustrations about being in a place where communication with others seems almost unattainable.   


This story has helped many students produce their first published "book" in English.  Using a small foldable, it is very non-threatening and students really love to put their own stories on paper.  The Cow That Went OINK is written and illustrated by Bernard Most, so there is a natural link for the students to write and illustrate their personal story about their language learning experiences.  I allow students to use their own language and what words they know in English.  They are encouraged to use the Spanish/English dictionary and we discuss how they are used.  For most, this is a challenge. 


The fold-able is very easy.  We fold paper in half lengthwise and then into thirds.  This gives them six frames with which to write their story.  With my teacher model of my own story, students write and illustrate their own book.  I love the stories they produce and they feel a sense of accomplishment creating their first work in English.




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Thanks for sharing such a unique mentor text, and thanks for bringing in these samples from your own students.






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