After repeating this challenge year after year, you are bound to see repetition in places. A few presenters repeat with a yearly contribution. A few book recommendations repeat through multiple years. And of course, the challenge itself repeats, arriving at the same time every year. Repetition can be a great thing, as with all of the titles recommended below.
When a phrase or sentence is repeated, it can:
-Make a statement
-Breathe life into the language
After reading Sit-In to my first grade students every year, the power of repetition shows up in our class discussion.As we speak about protest, these young students could easily say, "The boys wanted to be served, so they sat" or "They wanted food." But NO! Each student specifically said that the boys wanted "a coffee and donut with cream on the side," which to me swings the power of the boys actions into play. This line is repeated several times throughout the story. Repetition created a lasting impression on the reader and this was only one of the many repeated ideas in the story.
-Encourage readers to predict and feel confident
it may be the beginning of a sentence, leaving the ending of the same line up for variation. It may even be a catch-phrase.
Repetition, when applied in the right places, at the right times, with the right words, makes a world of difference. By noticing repetition and its effectiveness when you read, you will begin to understand the powerful difference it can make in your own writing.
While researching, my notetaking method is rather eclectic, but also formulaic is some ways, as well. I prefer an old-fashioned notebook and pencil and I generally jot down the things that leave an impression on me. The book credit remains the same as I list the publisher, year, title, authors and illustrators before all else. Most of the time, I list a general plot analysis when it applies. But picture books are not created equal. Concept books don’t have a plot at all and different structures can break plot traditions. In the case of repetition, I list the repeated line in quotes and then describe how the line made me feel or the symbolism it draws or the way it elicits participation from the reader. This is where preference comes into play. If one of my own manuscripts is lacking, I may even jot down a technique that might strengthen my writing. Or if I am struggling with a certain aspect of writing overall, I may only research stories for that one aspect.
Only you can decide what is the right notetaking method for you, and I recommend that you personalize it. We do have a few forms in our [tools section], but these are only one way of looking at research. I also love to use Goodreads to sort my mentor text categories. When you find those winning repetition titles, label them by the traits that you will want to look back on. This quick-reference approach has come in handy for me time after time!
This is it. ReFoReMo 2018 has arrived. Chances are, you will repeat the healthy research habits that you have established in previous years. If this is your first year, we hope you will enjoy the challenge of experimenting with research as you find your own new habits. The blog comment section below and the Facebook group are great places to learn from one another.
Which repetition titles are helpful models for you?
Carrie Charley Brown is the founder and co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She eats, sleeps, and breathes picture books as a writer, professional critique mentor, and elementary educator. Carrie contributed as a 2014/2015 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist and past regional advisor for SCBWI North Texas. She enjoys supporting authors, illustrators, and kidlit organizations by blogging, reviewing books, creating videos and teacher resources, and spreading mentor text love. Carrie is pursuing her masters in School Library Media and Literacy.