Come With Me

April 9, 2018

Pay it forward. Smile. Say “Hello”. Draw a picture.

Make a change.

Be brave. Ask others to join you adding sunshine to the world.

Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaitre bring hope through the example of one family, one child. Learning begins in the home, but in our classrooms, we have opportunities to model and show how to bring happiness in this world. Listen to the story told through children’s voices

Colby Sharp gives a book talk about Come With Me and the discussion he had with his students.

View an interview of author Holly M. McGhee. She shares about writing her middle grade novel, Matylda, Bright and Tender. I think it’s important for kids to see the author in “real life”, to hear how she works through hard parts. I also pushing kids to see that they can write anything – a picture book or a novel. The ending question is powerful.

Savorings for Come With Me:

  • Pay It Forward – make the world a better place
  • Show kindness; care for others
  • Be Brave
  • Repeating structure
  • Show not Tell
  • Community Building
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Is There a Dog In This Book?

April 7, 2018

Fun. Creative. Interactive. Viviane Schwarz engages her readers by interacting with the characters in Is There a Dog in This Book? I just love how the characters chit-chat with you: “Oh, hello! You opened our book!” Andre’ sniffs and wonders if someone else is in their book. The hide-and-seek game begins between the cats and the dog. The reader engages in the hunt by lifting flaps in the book, seeking and adding to the story.

Author/ illustrator, Viviane Schwarz, shares her story about writing books in this 8-minute video. I love how she wants to inspire children to draw and write, creating their own books.

On this YouTube clip, the author reads her story to you. I think the kids will enjoy hearing her read this delightful tale. View her blog for more behind the scenes tidbits of her work. You will be introduced to other books by Viviane Schwarz.

Savorings for Is There a Dog in This Book?

  • Voice
  • Second Person Narrative – interaction with the characters
  • Power of 3
  • Speech bubbles
  • Character Description / change
  • Everyday Happening – children can relate to the topic; create stories using their pets
  • Setting – helps young children see the importance of the setting

Hogwash

April 3, 2018

Don’t judge a book by its cover. I was surprised with the number of craft moves in this book, Hogwash by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jim McMullan. Filled with rhyme and a humorous story line, your students will laugh at the banter between the farmer and the hogs. Specific vocabulary is used such as Suey, Suey spic ‘n’ span, cleaning duds.

In regards to a mentor text, I noted several words were contractions: here’s, let’s, weren’t, that’s, etc. Most pages have four lines, so my eyes caught the past tense verbs. I began to write a few down and my list grew to over 30. When teaching the -ed sound, this book would aide. Let the kids find and categorize the ending sounds. It will make for a fun lesson and one that will most likely connect with them.

Savorings for Hogwash:

  • One day
  • Turning Point – “Everything went dandy … until”
  • Rhyme
  • Character change
  • Specific Vocabulary
  • Contractions
  • Past Tense Verbs
  • Compare this text with Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin.

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)