February 4, 2011
David Adler once again shares a biography that will engage children. February is Black History Month, and Satchel Paige: Don’t Look Back is a great story to share. I love to find books that capture character traits I want my students to develop. This book shows the determination and stamina of a young man, Leroy Paige. He gained his nick name “Satchel” when he began working at age 7 at a train station. He would carry people’s bags, or satchels, by stringing them on a pole that ran over his shoulders. Leroy also went to work sweeping a baseball field. He loved the game and began practicing by throwing rocks. Satchel didn’t let his lack of resources stop his determination to better himself.
Satchel Paige played in the World Series for the Cleveland Indians on July 7, 1948. He was 42 years old. In today’s baseball market, most players are much younger and are just ending their careers in their forty’s. Not Satchel. He played baseball until he was 60 years old.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Satchel Paige: Don’t Look Back:
- Perseverance and Stamina
- Inferring – “Paige was overcome with emotion. His nerves, he later said, ‘were jumping every which way.’ He knew he wasn’t pitching just for his team but also for African-Americans everywhere.”
- Magic of 3 – “He stretched. He waited. He shook his fingers.“
- Semi-colon with a list
PES Library books
February 9, 2009
Children begin to learn bravery at a young age. They face their fears through small experiences that seem grand to them, just like the little girl in Yuki’s Ride Home. The author, Manya Tessler, stated that she had a difficult time “learning to leave Japan, where she resided for two years.” Thus, she related the events to this story she created.
Yuki rides her bike over the bridge connecting her home to where her grandmother lives. She’s excited; it’s her fist day riding her bike home alone. Do you remember the sense of freedom learning to ride your bike and then getting to go places? Our students have many stories inside of them that can revolve around a bike ride. This book would be a great lead for a story idea to use with them. I also appreciate the interweaving of the thoughts and feelings of the character. Students often find it difficult to write the emotions and turmoil in their writing, which definitely lifts the connection to the reader.
The story shares simple activities Yuki and grandma do together – feeding her pets, making origami, listening to the wild life near the pond. Our kids can write about ordinary activities in their life, especially when shared with a special family member. Manya Tessler gives the reader a glimpse as to how Yuki is feeling through her thoughts.
“‘Mom will worry if I’m not home soon,’ thought Yuki.”
“Ka-tung Ka-tung beat Yuki’s heart.”
Enjoy this beautifully illustrated book with your students. Capture the every day moments. Highlight how each child can relate to Yuki as they have accomplished a difficult task and been brave during the difficult times.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Yuki’s Ride Home:
- One day story
- Exploding the moment scene
- Show don’t Tell – “Yuki’s stomach flipped, and she sat still on her bike.”
- Character’s internal conflict
- Every day activities
(Warsaw Public Library book)
February 2, 2009
I really believe we must share with children where the authors get their inspirations for their stories. Bobbie Dazzler is written by Margaret Wild. She observed her granddaughter as she learned gymnastics. “The splits defeated her, however, so I wrote a story for her instead.”
Many times, like this story, the story premise is based on every day happenings. One day Bobbie, the red-necked Wallaby, enjoys doing gymnastics. She is able to do all of the moves except for the splits. Although her friends console her and tell her it’s okay, Bobbie is determined to master the splits. In the end, she does with lots of effort and some help from her friends.
Our students participate in physical education and may have difficulty mastering an activity, like Bobby with the splits. We know they often are faced with new learning – math facts, spelling words, decoding – that may be difficult to master as well. This text teaches perseverance in a simple demonstration, sealing the comprehension of young children.
Kane/Miller Book Publishers stated, “Wild’s text is simple and joyful, celebrating children’s small achievements and the value of friendship.”
In kindergarten, they are learning to show action in their drawings. Janine Dawson creatively portrays Bobbie, the Wallaby, in several simple action scenes. Action words (verbs) are stressed throughout the book. Each illustration magnifies the simple sentence on each page, within the Australian landscape.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Bobbie Dazzler:
- Repeating structure – Bobbie could do _____ and ______ and ______. But she could not do the splits.
- Action Words – balance, whirl, twirl
- Excellent for kindergarten and first grade
- Interweaving of story detail