June 30, 2017

FullSizeRender (1)National Geographic Kids: Explore my World series introduces children to nature in an up-close-and-personal style. The book invites you to be a part of the setting and imagine the science in action. Jill Esbaum created Nighttime.

The introductory pages set the scene of a beautiful dusk evening. The mini-chapters’ subtitles take action: Glow, Swoop!, Chase! Zoomed in pictures capture the smallest creatures in their natural settings. This book is an excellent mentor texts for young writers. They will nod their heads and say, “Yes, I can create a book like this.”

Savorings for reading and in writing for Nighttime:

  • Verbs- sneak, leap, snoop, scramble
  • Bookend Chapters – beginning sets the nighttime scene; ending bring the sunrise
  • Onomatopoeia – Y-a-w-w-w-n
  • Ellipse – added emphasis
  • Science connection – nocturnal, moon stages

Can I Tell You a Secret?

June 29, 2017

Anna Kang‘s frog character in Can I Tell You a Secret? talks to the reader. Monty brings

Related imageyou right in by asking to come in closer to share a secret. This secret is somewhat of a surprise because the frog is afraid of water. He shares his thoughts and the reader gets to help him explain his secret to his parents. The illustrations by Christopher Weyant add emotion to this private, moment in time.

Enjoy listen to the book on this video clip.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Can I Tell You a Secret?:

  • Second person narrative – Monty draws the reader in to share his secret
  • Problem – three tries and then the solution
  • Community Building – beginning of the year, discuss that everyone has obstacles and can grow, learn
  • Friendship – the reader becomes a friend to Monty and helps him
  • Varied Sentence Types – questions especially


I’m Me!

June 28, 2017

Imogen visits her aunt, in the book I’m Me. They are ready for a day of pretend. AuntieImage result for I'm Me! Sara (by Sara Sheridan) shares her ideas of fun adventures: a pirate’s parrot, a dragon-taming knight, a far-out astronaut. Imogen thinks on the sidebar and eventually picks a favorite activity – reading books.

Let’s see. Will you be … a naughty monkey? And I’m feeding you fruit on a hot, sandy beach in Zanzibar? We’ll swim with the dolphins and splash in the waves.”

Kids have everyday, normal adventures that can become fun stories.  Sara Sheridan shares in this video how her idea came from her niece, Imogen.

Savorings for reading and writing for I’m Me:

  • Every Day Happeningvisiting a family member. Children often do not know what to write about.
  • Sidebarthe real conversation happening versus the imaginative play
  • Visualization / Imagination – “Can we play pretend?”  Creating stories and dramas
  • Love of Reading how books are important to play
  • Illustrator NoteMargaret ChamberlainDraws with ink and paper. Then scans the images into the computer and adds color



Born in the Wild

June 27, 2017

Image result for born in the wild by lita judgeBaby animals are adorable. Cuddly. Cute. Mama animals love and protect their young, nuzzling them to move, licking them with kisses. Kids will “awww” when they see the mama/child couple throughout the book, Born in the Wild.

Using a repetitive structured text, Lita Judge breaks the book into sections. Instead of a traditional subtitle, a sentence topic announces the proceeding two-page spread with its corresponding three animals.

The baby is part of a family.

The baby needs to be caressed and groomed.

The baby grows strong through play.

See the video book review by TTPM

Savorings for reading and in writing for Born in the Wild:

  • Additional Facts – in the back, each animal is expounded upon (a great way to show students how to include any extra facts into their piece)
  • Repeating Structure – one-line sentence followed by three animal explanations
  • Font Manipulation – highlighted names are colored text
  • Glossary – additional websites
  • Connection – to field trips, science research

Chickens to the Rescue

June 26, 2017

My friend, Tammy, loves chickens. She barters for them at swap meets and collects their eggs. She names them and notices their character. And Tammy tells chicken stories. I love her stories!

I’m not sure her chickens have come to her rescue, but John Himmelman‘s characters do. They are ready to help each member of the family every day of the week in Chickens to the Rescue.

Right now, I could enlist the chickens to do some every day chores: dishes, laundry, scrubbing the kitchen floor, even going through the piles in the closets. Your kids will laugh at the attributes each chicken displays.

A YouTube interview of John Himmelman talking about Chickens to the Rescue (almost 9 min.)

Savorings for reading and in writing for Chickens to the Rescue:

  • Sequence of Events according to the days of the week
  • Character description
  • Repeating Structure
  • Bookend ending – ready for the next book

South Whitley Public Libary

If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!

June 24, 2017

Image result for if you ever want to bring a piano to the beach don'tKids are strong-willed. They want to do things their own way. Parents try to warn them, to protect them, but sometimes the kids have to figure out life the hard way. In If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T by Elise Parsley, the little girl makes promises that she will be careful with her piano. Her mother warns her not to lose it (how can she lose a piano?).

“You’ll tell her that it’s okay. You will hold on tight to your piano and keep it neat and clean and you’ll even promise to push it to the beach yourself-cross your heart.

But on the way, your arms will get heavy. Then your legs will get draggy. “

Learning that you can lose a piano, the little girl shows how to choose the positive from a disappointment.

Click here to see illustrations and hear a chat (10 min.) with the author.

Savorings for reading and writing for If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T:

  • Sequential Steps/ Transitionsfirst, finally, but on the way
  • Second Person Essaytalks to the reader about how to do something
  • Voice you can hear a kid sharing her point of view
  • Community Building – the character changes
  • Twist on PersuasionKids love to persuade their parents
    • Mother warns not to take the piano




Coral Reefs

June 23, 2017

Jason Chin interweaves the setting and story, enticing the reader into the story. His character, who opens the Coral Reef book at the library, sees the animals up close and personal. He creates an illustrated way a reader’s brain visualizes the scenes while reading. Your students will get to journey along with learning the vocabulary attached with Coral Reefs. The food chain web interweaves through the pages.

This book lends itself to close reading, mapping out the ocean creatures and habitats. Read and reread to understand how nature works together, predator and prey, environment and adaptations, partnerships among sea creatures.

Link to live coral reefs, bringing nature alive.

Savorings for reading and writing for Coral Reefs:

  • Building Background Knowledge – Science: Food chains, vocabulary; builds curiosity to research and learn more
  • Setting – the young girl is whisked away from the library into a magical place
    • Even the ending leads you into another story
  • Illustrations – captures the mind of the reader
  • Close Reading – web
  • Author’s Note – where he gathered his ideas
    • Importance of research
    • Persuading the reader to take action to help coral reefs