April Foolishness

April 1, 2010

Today is April 1 – April Fools Day.  Today, children throughout school and home will pull pranks on you.  My children gat me at home today.  The weather is beautiful and spring break starts tomorrow.  My daughter said, “You know what, Mom?  I heard the weatherman is calling for snow next week.”

My face became totally surprised and upset at the same time, “What?  No way.”

“April Fools,” E said, laughing.  I just shook my head; I couldn’t believe I had fallen for it.

Teresa Bateman must have a practical joke side to her.  In her  book, April Foolishness, grandpa is making breakfast for the start of his day.  His two grandchildren run in and inform him that the cows are out.  Grandpa just smiles and says he’ll get to them in a few minutes.  Each grand child keeps returning, panicking at the different animals that are causing mayhem in the barnyard.  The illustrator, Nadine Bernard Westcott, creates mental pictures of the chaos the children are describing.  Excellent visualizing example.

In the end, the children are sitting down to eat.  Grandpa has maintained his calm, in-control manner.  He’s aware that today is April Fool’s Day, and he is not going to allow his grandchildren to play a trick on him.  The look of disappointment spread across the children’s faces.  They have tried all their tricks.

Grandmother comes on the scene.  She states that the farm is full of mayhem and why isn’t he taking care of it.  Grandpa’s face shows alarm as he quickly puts his boots and coats on.  He rushes out the door, as Grandma sits down to his breakfast to say, “April Fools.”

Savorings for reading and writing for April Foolishness:

  • Visualization
  • Sequence of events in one morning
  • Feelings – the character’s words show the emotion of the day
  • Foreshadowing – the beginning shows a picture of grandmother getting ready for the day.  She has a nice smile on her face.  I didn’t realize that it was a foreshadowing of the prank she was going to pull.
  • Dialogue – excellent back-and-forth conversation

Fall is Here!

November 7, 2008

Fall is definitely here with its falling leaves and chilly mornings.  Another sensory delight for readers is Fall is Here!  I Love It! by Elaine W. Good. 

Fall Is Here !Elaine created a set of vignettes about life on the farm told through the eyes of a young child.  She creates a tingling of sensory descriptions through sights, colors, tastes, smells, and touch.  You can connect this book with social studies, the cycle of harvest, ending with the Thanksgiving holiday.

 Savorings for reading and in writing for Fall is Here!  I Love It!:

  • Elaine Good closes each vignette with a repeating line – “Fall is here!  I love it!”
  • Specific vocabulary for the farm – corn stalks, silo, tractor
  • Vivid Verbs – snort and snuffle
  • Personification – “The leaves dance in the wind, spinning on thie toes as they fall to the ground.”
  • Close echo – “Pumpkins!  Pumpkins!  Pumpkins!”