The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal

February 11, 2019

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Visit The Lead Learners blog for my post of The SUN is Kind of a BIG DEAL by Nick Seluk.

Savorings for reading and writing for The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal:

  • Voice
  • Play on Words
  • Scientific modeling
  • Comic strip features
  • Hybrid text
  • Added tidbits in the back
  • Pair it with the book, My Light by Molly Bang, for further study

Dino – Basketball

April 13, 2013

Dear Basketball Lovers,

Dino-BasketballBasketball Madness has finally settled, so I wish I would have shared this book in March. The author, Lisa Wheeler and illustrator, Barry Gott, created an energetic book for any month of the year. Dino-Basketball (pub. Carolrhoda Books Minn. 2011) will capture the children in the intense action, being an edge-of-the-seat spectator while turning the pages. I think this book is a great mentor text to show how to integrate topic vocabulary such as dunk, pivot, and dribble.

Lisa Wheeler is also very creative playing of lyrical words of “We will, we will, Chomp you!” You can almost hear the chant. Too cute! Boys will love this book.  Even the colors match – green for the Grass Clippers and red for the Meat. They of course have their basketball match up at Mastadon Square Garden.

Thought of you and hope you will enjoy reading this book to any primary classroom. Go to the author and illustrator websites that are linked. I found some interesting helps. (And, I found out they wrote a Dino-Baseball book. Can’t wait to read it!)


Savorings for reading and in writing for Dino-Basketball:

  • Hyphen and Dash usage
  • Vocabulary – specific topic words
  • Everyday Happening – basketball as viewed on TV using dinosaurs as characters
  • Action
  • Boy Read

PES book


August 22, 2009

Pamela Duncan Edwards is a queen of alliteration, her author’s fingerprint.  The word play mingles humor into the storyline.  View her interview about why she uses alliteration and also her collaboration with Henry Cole.  The kids will enjoying seeing the video clip as well.  The Worrywarts begins with Wombat asking Weasel and Woodchuck to go “wander the world.”  The three begin to choose specific necessities for their travel. 

 “But then Wombat began to worry.  “WAIT!”  she wailed.  “WHAT IF…”

Wombat proceeds to share her worries that are illustrated as a visualization – a thought bubble.  Weasel and Woodchuck follow suit, stating their worries each time they are ready to “wander the world.”  Once ready, they begin their wandering.  Incidentally danger does await them.  Each time, the provisions they had brought along me the need to help them escape.  A fun text to read!  (You may need to practice reading the book as the alliteration creates a tongue twister effect. 🙂 ).

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Worrywarts:

  • Repeating Structure – each character shares his/her worries
  • Visualization – Henry Cole  illustrates the character’s thinking through thought bubbles; you could read a page to them, let the kids visualize and then show the illustrations.
  • Predicting – Ask the children what they think will be happening next, especially as the text gives you clues along the way.
  • Lots of Questioning – what if…?
  • Magic of 3 – “We’ve walked a long way,” said Wombat.  “I’m weak and weary,” said Weasel.  “I’m worn out,” said Woodchuck.
  • Alliteration – the use of W

Verbs in Play

January 6, 2009

In Doreen Cronin’s frolicking style, she has created another fun rhyming text.  As a read aloud, Bounce is best suited for younger students.  Scott Menchin illustrates a dog as the main character, acting out the different ways to bounce. 


But, upon rereading the text, I find this book would be great for a vocabulary focus.  The book could be a springboard for and interactive vocabulary writing activity.  Bounce features ways to use bounce as engaging play.  I envision teaching grammatical lessons (and having fun) in the upper grades with this text.

What a great way to teach prepositional phrases, dependent  clauses, even direct and indirect objects (if you must).   Punctuation is used in a variety of ways as well.  You might think that kids don’t get it unless we teach it all, but I had a student in second grade use ?! together in a sentence.  She said she had seen it in books.  She dded, “I’m asking a question and I really want to reply, so I added the exclamation mark to make the reader think about it.”  Kids get it!  Let them explore the text and then try what they find interesting.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Bounce:

  • Apostrophe – C’mon, let’s, it’s, you’ll, I’ll
  • Hyphen – Ker-plop
  • Ellipse – “I’ll bounce to the left…if you’ll bounce to the right.”
  • Flexing sentences – “If you bounce into a puddle, it’s best to bounce in boots.”
  • Verb tenses with the same word – bounce, bounced, bouncing
  • Reader’s Theater – The text lends itself for voice inflection as certain words are bolded and the font is larger.

Bounce, a cute and fun book filled with amazing possibilities.  I can’t wait to read their ot

her book, WIGGLE and STRETCH.