November 12, 2011
Jaime Adoff collection of poems focus on the theme of being small in Small Fry. His perspective gives you a glimpse of trials and triumphs being short can be. I envision these poems will ignite conversations within your classroom and poem sharing their wishes. Mike Reed illustrations the feels inlaid in the text. View an interview with Jaime Adoff as he talks about the influences his parents, Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff, had on him as a writer.
- No Fun Allowed focuses on not being tall enough for an amusement ride.
- Cool Fun Fort Forever shines on the imaginative play young children can have.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Small Fry:
- Narrative-like poems
- Kid Voice
- Varied types of poems – long skinny, stanzas, questions, short, conversational
- Everyday Happenings
October 31, 2011
Holiday celebrations invite poetry creations and shares. Lee Bennett Hopkins selected several poems around the Halloween theme in Halloween Howls Holiday Poetry. During the fall season, it is fun to read short poems to catch your students’ attention.
A table of contents is featured at the beginning of the book with correlating page numbers. What a fun way to introduce this concept used in chapter and reference books.
Rebecca Kai Dotlich pens the poem Costume Hour. Children will relate to dressing up and imagining themselves as a fantasy character.
Sweet Tooth by Candace Pearson describes candy corn. After reading this poem, you could ask your students to write about their favorite candy, a snapshot of eating or making something delicious.
Use your imagination and have fun with poetry.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Halloween Howls:
- Sensory Description
- Making Connections
October 25, 2011
Children say the funniest things. It’s priceless catching the moment. Everyone needs some type of comic relief, and I love sharing these little bits of nothing with my colleagues.
Vowels are so important in our language. The smallest sound changes the meaning of a word.
One young first grader was writing diligently in his book during writer’s workshop. When I conferred with him, Ernie looked up with excitement in his eyes. “Mrs. Gensch, I’m writing about bulls. When I was like two years old, I went to a RADIO and saw a bull-fight. Those bulls are mean. Their horns can hurt people!”
I smiled and applauded his enthusiasm. Radio. Rodeo. Close enough.
October 22, 2011
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat is a hybrid text full of fun for the autumn season. I happened upon an early childhood website with class activity possibilities.
The text is written in a two-lined rhyme, describing the beauty of the fall season. Along the bottom of the pages, the alphabet is featured with upper and lower case letters. Between the letters is a zoomed in illustration featuring an animal or insect found in nature. A Junco, Pheasant, and a Vixen are a few examples. Your students could create an alphabet book about Autumn. The text lends itself to connecting with a natural science lesson.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Patty’s Pumpkin Patch:
- Class Book – alphabet structure
- Science connection – insects, birds, animals
- Agricultural setting – every day happenings for those living in a rural setting
- Timeline – spring to fall
September 5, 2011
On the book jacket, Wendell Minor shares a photo of himself as a youngster sitting near chickens. As I share the book with children, I would show this picture and allow them to wonder about where the author is and how it relates to the book. This little feature connects the story with the seed idea the author used.
My Farm Friends begins with an introduction to the farm, enticing you to explore the farm. This test would support students who live in an agricultural setting, sparking ideas to write about. For those students living in an urban setting, the pictures will bring the farm to them.
Nine animals are featured. The text has a repeated structure, describing characteristics of the animals, rhyming lines (ABCB pattern). A fun fact is added in. For example, did yo know that turkeys purr when content?
For a sneak peak at the book, view the YouTube video:
At the end, each animal is featured in a two page fun fact spread. It’s a great example for a nonfiction unit of study. Six internet sources are included for further research. A favorite is http://www.kiddyhouse.com/farm.
Savorings for reading and in writing for My Farm Friends:
- Magic of 3 – in the introduction
- Repeated Structure
- Adjectives – great for young children to learn and understand
- Character descriptions
- Everyday Happenings – on the farm
Warsaw Community Public Library – new book