Metal Man

August 4, 2009

Vacation was excellent.  I stumbled upon three discount bookstores, much to my delight.  My daughter has the book bug as well, so we had fun finding new titles and getting books for a dollar or two.  I still did not have enough time to sit and read like I wanted, but the memories we made were worth it. 🙂

Have any boys or girls who love to be hands on?  Metal Man will be a text that will grab their attention.  This text is written with shorter, staccato-like sentences.  The story focuses on a boy who daily hangs out with the metal man, a man who creates art out of junk.  The boy aspires to be like the metal man.

Aaron Reynolds molds his words to make you feel the heat of the garage.

But he pulls out his fire torch.

It howls like the El train comin’.

And he starts meltin’ metal pieces on.Metal Man

they stick,

hot and red,

like my sweaty back on the plastic bus seats,

cookin’ together.

Swet’s pourin’ down metal man,

but he don’t stop.”

The boy shares his thinking.  You really can understand him.  The boy reminds me of many boys I’ve worked with.  They are comfortable with the outdoors, the garage, the ball field, the hands-on.  They don’t always feel like that with spelling, writing, reading.  The boy feels at home in this setting and longs to be like the metal man.

When I hang out with the metal man, I get it right.

I see what I see.

Not like school.”

I want my classroom to be like the garage, a place where the kids aspire to be, to learn and to know that they will get it right.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Metal Man:

  • Apostrophe – adds voice; you hear the accent of the narrator.  It’s used as a contraction and also for possessive.
  • Similes – “That torch’ll tear you up like a thousand killer bees.”
  • Realistic Conversation – “Whaddaya wanna make?”  He ain’t never said that before.
  • Compare/Contrast -junk vs. art;   Summer’s cookin’ the streets outside, bakin’ ’em black.  But everything’s cool and comfy inside the silver star.
  • Internal Conflict – “I got a spark in my head, but i ain’t sayin’ it with my mouth.  ‘I don’t kow,’ I say.  It’s a lie, but I tell it anyway. … ‘Don’t be scared, boy.  Bring it out to play.’  That metal man can see inside me like glass.

Warsaw Public Library

A must-get book for me!!