Helaine Becker: ‘Ode to Underwear’ Star

So, I organized an author visit at school today. It was the perfect Spring day for a very lively author with a lot of funnies up her sleeve. And Helaine Becker delivered. Born in the United States and now calling Canada her home, this eccentric and easy-to-get-along-with author gave both teachers and students something to chew on. Ms. Becker delivered a very thoughtful and interactive presentation on the merits of the writing process and how the following elements are fundamental to any good writing. Teachers everywhere, take note!

  1. Good punctuation, so your audience can understand with clarity what it is you are saying.
  2. Good writing techniques, such as rhyme and alliteration to create interest in the content and keep the work flowing well.
  3. Good use of rich vocabulary. Helaine stressed that a rich vocabulary comes from a lot of reading. Reading anything, anytime and anywhere. Cue “I told you so” from book-lovers everywhere…
  4. Good descriptive words to allow your audience to paint a vivid image of the world you are creating for them. “Lovely weather, eh?” vs. “Have you checked out this colourful Spring day with blossoming buds and delicious cool air all around?”
  5. Revise. Revise. Revise. Any author or blogger, or writer of any sort knows this to be the trick of the trade. You can’t publish something you hammered out in seconds and haven’t proofread. It just isn’t done.

Author of over 70 different genres of books (adventure books, humour books, quiz books, science books, fact books) spanning various reading levels (picture books, chapter books, junior novels), Ms. Becker is an award-winning writer and for good reason! Her books are dazzlers! Which is why NOT buying her books was not an option. Below, 3 of Becker’s titles that are a must-have if you’re a primary teacher (Grades K-3).

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This book is particularly classy because it is a treasure trove of poetry that young kids can have fun reading and performing. Replete with humour, rhythm and well-imagined characters, this is a good choice when introducing your students to the genre of poetry. Best for: Grades 1-4
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What a fantastic Canadian version of this timeless Christmas rhyme! You’ll find a mention of all things Canadian: Mounties, Beavers, Loons, and yes, even the Toronto Maple Leafs! Best for: Grades K-2
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This is my favourite title from the selection! In a hilarious bid to make you appreciate your underwear, Becker does the unthinkable, she exposes the tush-covering fabric! Best for: Grades K-2

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