Big Bug/ Super Bugs/ Some Bugs

March 10, 2018

27431983Children often have a favorite topic to write about. They return to the topic and use the same genre in sharing their information. For example, if a child loves his dog, he often will write a story, a narrative. This writing practice is a great start.

One way to broaden children’s understanding of genres is to present books on the same topic with different formats. You can compare and contrast different books on the same topic. Dinosaurs. Trucks. Bears. Show them how this information can be shared out through a narrative, informational text, poetic nonfiction, poetry, all about, etc.

Three books I found recently lend themselves to this kind of study.

Savorings for Big Bug:

  • Opposites – big versus little
  • Perspetive
  • Comparison of size
  • Circular/ Bookends – begins with a bug that looks small on a big leaf  but is a small leaf to a big tree, and continues (begins with the topic of bugs but is only one part of the book versus the other books are all about bugs)

Savorings for Super Bugs:

  • Rhyming
  • Setting – each two page spread illustrates a scene (you could write about each scene)
  • Teamwork
  • Repeating Lines
  • Heroes
  • Author’s Note – writes about what fascinates her

Savorings for Some Bugs:

  • Illustrations are a fascinating collage
  • Repeating structure
  • Vivid Verbs
  • Personifies the bugs – communicating, playing
  • Last 2 pages is a culmination of all the illustrated pages
  • Invites the reader to action – explore their ordinary backyard

Savorings for National Geographic Everything Insects:

  • Nonfiction text features
  • Photographs in natural setting
  • Scientific explanations
  • Link to further research

I Wanna Go Home

March 1, 2018

Karen Kaufman Orloff captures the voice of a child begging to change his circumstances. Kids are the best at persuasion. They insist. They give reasons. And they insist some more.

In I Wanna Go Home, Alex isn’t not thrilled with going to his grandparents instead of staying with a friend. His view point is limited. David Catrow captures the many faces of Alex as his perspective changes. The reader learns of his pleas to his findings to his adventures through letters (a delightful writing habit that many kids may not even recognize.)

Karen Kaufman Orloff has created a website with activities linked to her I Wanna books. Clink on the link here to see ways to use this text for persuasive writing.

Enjoy hearing from Karen in this 2 min video.  (Read an interview with Karen about writing this book.)

Savorings for I Wanna Go Home:

  • Persuasive
  • Letter writing/ emails/ correspondance
  • Dedication – the grandparents’ names in the dedication are the same in the book
  • Voice
  • Childhood encounters – false teeth, hearing aides
  • Parent vs. child perspective
  • Different meanings – “Did you know that when you go square dancing you actually spin in circles?”
  • Generation Connections
  • Descriptions before his name – Swam Boy Alex

Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep

February 28, 2018

Todd Tarpley reverses the roles of a boy as he parents his robots. Time for bed, the boy tries to usher the bots to bed.  Each time they snuggle down, one of they needs to do something. How long does it take them to get to sleep? Kids can have fun writing their own go-to-sleep books. I love the little mouse that pops up on each page. Read the author’s note in the back. Cute!

Mr. Pieri from the Elkhart Public library reads the book to you in this 3:23 minute video.

Savorings for Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!:

  • Personification
  • Rhyming
  • Everyday happening – getting ready for bed
  • Reverse roles
  • Speech bubbles
  • Repeating line/ structure
  • ing verbs
  • Love of Reading
  • Technical terms – infared

What James Said

February 22, 2018

Image result for what james saidRemember the telephone game? One person whispers to another, who shares it with someone else until it circles back to the owner. The final message is never like the beginning statement. Although you laugh at the ridiculous outcome, it’s not a laughing matter when rumors are spread about you.

In this story’s documentary, a friend’s compliment gets twisted into something hurtful. What James Said provides the opportunity for discussion regarding peaceful resolutions. And, who do you believe – a friend or a stranger? Watch this preview as a class and predict if they will become friends.

The read the book or view the story on YouTube.

Savorings for What James Said:

  • Grabber lead
  • Character traits
  • Varied sentences
  • Transitions in a day
  • Tension
  • Prediction
  • Conflict between friends
  • Restorative practice

(PES library book)

Cara’s Kindness

February 17, 2018

Pay it forward. In a time when turmoil and fear encircle us, we can choose to break the mold by helping others. Cara’s Kindness is a story of one character putting aside her problem to help another. In turn, the pay it forward then goes from one friend to another character. View a snippet of the book on this link. Kids of all ages can begin to think of ways to help others around them. Start in your classroom. Encourage it at home. How can they help the community?

The story also features a growth mindset.

“Well of course! That’s part of skating {or any part of life}. So the first think you need to learn is how to get back up.”

Kristi Yamaguchi shares her book at this link. She also has a website, Always Dream Foundation, that focuses on supporting early literacy and paying it forward to children in need.

Savorings for Cara’s Kindness:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Repeating line – “No worries…just pass on the kindness!
  • Alliteration – gracefully glided, character names
  • Theme – Caring makes a difference!
  • Small Moments in Time
  • Every day happenings

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

February 15, 2018

Kids connect with history through story. Historical narrative invites the reader into the time period, the setting, the dialect. Our students can relate to characters and feel the emotions of the events. Picture books give readers a weighted historical highlight to peak their interest. For a moment, we can be transported back in time and watch the movie unfold before our eyes.

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville ,by Pat Zietlow Miller, begins as an ordinary happening – a girl playing outside with her friends, racing to see who is the fastest. More than anything, the character emulates her hero, Wilma Rudolph, the fastest woman in 1960 and the first woman to win 3 gold medals in the same Olympic Games. Along comes Charmaine, with her “brand-new, only-been-worn-by-her shoes” challenging Alta’s stand as the fastest kid in Clarksville, TN. They race. She trips. Words fly.

In story, the girls have a conflict. Because of their hero’s example and forgiveness, their differences are put aside and a friendship begins. Not only did they want to imitate Wilma’s running abilities, they also wanted to imitate the peace she was inviting.

The author’s note highlights Wilma Rudolph, from a family of twenty-two children , ill as a child and wore a leg brace, and had the first major integrated event in her home town of Clarksville, TN.

Companion book: Wilma Unlimited .  Click on this link to view the book read to you.

Savorings for The Quickest Kid in Clarksville:

  • Dialect – “Boy – howdy, does she ever.
  • Varied sentences (two word sentences for emphasis)
  • Hyphenated words as craft – “shoe-buying daddy”
  • Character emotions
  • Possessive nouns – several examples of using the apostrophe s (Charmaine’s strutting)
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Author’s Note

Lost and Found : Three Dog Stories

February 11, 2018

Image result for Lost and Found Three Dog Stories by Jim LaMarche

Three separate short stories weaved together: Molly, Ginger, Yuki. Jim LaMarche will touch your heart and cause you to linger in the child’s moment with his/her dog. You’ll gently smile and find a spot in your heart to hold the images of his brilliant pencil drawings.

“…through the tall grass, up a rocky hill, then into the woods.”

Comfort when angry. Companion when venturing in the woods. Hiking partner. Always returns home. Strong bond. Serendipity. Homeless. Elderly. Comfort. Tension. Worry. Reunited. The love of a dog and his owner.

Savorings for Lost and Found: Three Dog Stories:

  • Suddenly – tension, suspense, wondering
  • Routines interrupted
  • Doing what’s right
  • Zoomed in box illustration
  • Friendship
  • Grabber Lead
  • Power of Three