October 20, 2014
Kids wonder what happens when teachers get together. They pass by the room with the sign Teachers’ Lounge and try to peek. Jerry Pallotta portrays adventurous activities for teacher relief in What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge. Wouldn’t it be fun to walk through the forest during lunch time? As I reread the book, I noticed Howard McWilliam gave some clues from the paintings on the wall. Several match the adventures the teachers have.
After reading the book, kids could draw and write what might be happening in the teachers’ lounge. It would be fun to hear what they think.
Below is a video of the book, narrated by a student. The quality is good. It definitely gives you a preview of the book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge:
- Wonderment – what is happening?
- Interjection – Yikes
- Sentence Structure – simple text as well as complex sentences with clauses
- Plural possessive
- Magic of 3
August 22, 2011
The Bookshop Dog intrigues me. I found the book at a used bookstore. It’s not new (copyright 1996), but new to me. Cynthia Rylant is not only the author but also the illustrator. As I read the book, I kept wondering where she got the idea for the book. A dog-lover will relate to this book.
A young lady takes her dog everywhere, even to work. She owned a bookstore and name it after her dog, Martha Jane’s bookshop. Her customers loved the dog and business was flourishing.
A dilemma arises when the lady has to go to the hospital. Several customers wanted to keep Martha. It was Martha who chose her handler – one man who visited the bookshop weekly. I think this book is a great example of how a decision creates the problem in the story.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Bookshop Dog:
- Play on words
- Magic of 3 – postman, policeman, band director
- Problem/ Solution
- Character traits
July 26, 2011
Today my children heard “Thank you” so many times they were humbled.
Today our family served an evening meal to a homeless shelter in our community. We cooked with fellow church friends and then delivered the meal to the home that serviced 25 people. We were created cheerfully and then set up the food line. My kids were not exactly excited about going. “What will the people be like? What are we to do?” They were nervous and felt uncomfortable. They changed.
Today my children learned homeless people are real, are normal, are like them. The clients interacted with us and asked the kids about school. They wanted to know if they were enjoying summer. The men and women shared about their work activities or family. They interacted.
Today we heard, “Oh thank you for the food.” We responded kindly and shared we were glad to do it. “We really appreciate your kindness.” We responded with letting them know others had helped us in our time of need. “Thank you so much.” My children smiled and offered more. They responded.
Today my children said “Thank you” to me as we headed home.
July 23, 2011
Twelve different animals are featured, from dolphins to monkeys, fish to ants. Each animal is a carrier of seeds, transporting the seed to another area. Who Will Plant a Tree? is a great example for a science connection dealing with plant growth with a simple text. Students of all ages will be able to understand how a tiny seed can grow into a beautiful tree. Jerry Pallotta features a teacher sharing with her students how to plant trees. Tom Leonard uniquely illustrates the plant taking root and phases of growth on each two page layout.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Who Will Plant a Tree?:
- Magic of 3 – each scene shares the carrier, how the seed is dispersed and the type of tree planted.
- Interjections – What fun!
- Compound sentences
- Science connection
- Repeated structure
July 11, 2011
Chick loves stories of adventure. He daydreams of meeting the hero who fights off evil. The chicken coop is too dull with its daily duties of pecking, laying eggs, and sitting. Chick wants more.
Jennifer Sattler creates a fun read in Chick ‘n’ Pug. Heading out, Chick finds a pug. Chick is thrilled! At last he has found his hero. In contrast, the illustrations portray pug as an ordinary, lethargic pup trying to sleep. Believing his hero is exhausted from a heroic conquest, Chick marvels at Pug. He wants to be just like Pug. Chick has visions of strength and wit.
When an intruder (a cat) appears on the scene, Chick decides to help his hero out and defeats the foe with a LOUD bark. Hooray! Too cute!
Savorings for reading and in writing for Chick ‘n’ Pug:
- Thought bubbles vs. speech bubbles – dreams of being something mightier
- Magic of 3 – 3 short scenes
- Character thinking aloud to the reader
- Ellipse – dramatic, surprise ending
- Love of Reading – chick reads the adventure book 127 times. 🙂
July 3, 2011
Audrey Vernick, intrigued me with her biographical narrative, She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. Effa Manley loved baseball. The history begins with a brief scene at school, highlighting racial prejudice. As an adult, Effa moves to New York City. She loves the excitement of Babe Ruth and the Yankees, yet is bothered by the discrimination she finds even in Harlem. Don Tate‘s illustrations are striking and illuminate the love that Effa Manley had for the game and its players.
Effa and her husband, Abe Manley, created a baseball team in the Negro national League, the Eagles. She coordinated schedules and ran the business. She cared for her team and went beyond what other owners did. In 1946, the Newark Eagles won the Negro League World Series.
As more African-American players were signed into the major leagues, the Negro League suffered and eventually ended. Effa loved the players and wrote numerous letters to the Hall of Fame fighting for the recognition of many players in the Negro Leagues. She did so until she died in 1980.
Her influence continued until 2006 when many more players were added. Effa was the also honored and inducted as the first woman.
“She was recognized for all she did for her players, for her civil rights work, and for getting the major leagues to treat Negro League teams with respect.”
View a video clip about the book found on the author’s website. Audrey Vernick has an awesome discussion guide for the book. It ties in to the civil rights movement and has some comparison/ contrast with Rosa Parks. You’ll need to check it out.
Savorings for reading and in writing for She Loved Baseball:
- Magic of 3 – notice the above quote as one example
- Repeating Line – “That’s just the way things are,” people said.
- Hyphenated words – high-stepping home-run swing
- Proper Nouns – people, places, teams, organizations; this book would allow students to have fun learning conventions with several examples throughout the book
- Possessive nouns – several unique nouns with possessive ‘s