Owl Moon: A Winter Adventure with Narrative and Expository Text

Owl Moon book Cover

In light of the exorbitant amounts of snow we have been getting here in New England this past month, Maryellen Rooney Moreau, creator of Story Grammar Marker® shared some thoughts.

“Snowy evenings often inspire poets, musicians and writers. One that I love is Robert Frost’s famous poem entitled Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I have a beautiful copy of this poem with illustrations by Susan Jeffers. This poem happens to be an exemplar poem listed in Appendix 2 of the Common Core State Standards. The last page of theƒ book has a note written by the illustrator about her mother, an artist, who would take her daughter for walks on snowy evenings: “My mother’s favorite thing to do was simply to walk outside and look. She was a painter and my first painting lessons came from her. They were really lessons in looking. She would ask me: What is the color of the tree shadow? Is it blue? Blue- green” Violet? She was teaching me to paint what I saw, not what I knew. What I knew would never be enough.” Color often is a clue to the author’s, poet’s or illustrator’s theme. Robert Frost’s poem, so beautifully illustrated in this version, reminded me of Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr, due to similarities of the winter night’ setting, the owls and the mention of colors. Colors of the night were mentioned: dark woods, snow whiter than milk under the moonlight, the blackest shadows, silver faced moon, black pine trees, gray footprints and a sky that seemed to shine because of the moonlight. Besides color, the sounds of the night, forest sights, and feelings of warm and cold are beautifully described.

“Knowing that Jane Yolen lives very close to me here in Western Massachusetts, makes me think that the depictions in Owl Moon are very close to the scenery near my home that I have been seeing during this cold, snowy winter. I love to use this book with Story Grammar Marker® and ThemeMaker® lessons and activities based on this story, Owl Moon. She has included Common Core State Standards and sample student work as well. Lindsay’s choice of Owl Moon is perfect for our Winter theme of blogs that began with Disney’s Frozen. Owl Moon’s focus on owl sightings reminds us of our good friend, Chris Cook, of www.cookphoto.com, who photographed a snowy owl on Cape Cod last January. He was quite excited to find and photograph this breathtaking creature. Below are a few of his photos of a Cape Cod winter and the snowy owl.”


Snowy Owl PhotoSnowy Owl Photo 2Rock Harbor PhotoNarnia Photo

Click here to view more of Chris’ photography.

Below is an excerpt from Lindsay Domb’s extensive lesson on Owl Moon, the Macrostructure and Microstructure analysis of this story. Click the links below the excerpt for the links to Lindsay Domb’s 40 pages of lessons, analysis and activities.



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Enjoy Lindsay’s lessons and if you have a lesson you would like to share, please email it to me, Sheila Moreau, at smmoreau@mindwingconcepts.com.
Sheila Moreau
Sheila Moreau

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