Together they created a fun read, Groundhog’s Dilemma, that highlights a predicament kids can relate with. Half of the animals want winter to last longer and half of the animals want spring now. Each animal tries to persuade Groundhog to predicate what they desire. Groundhog agrees with everyone, because he wants them all to be his friend. In the end, Groundhog explains he just reports what he sees; he can’t change the weather. This book provides you the opportunity to talk with kids about being truthful. It touches on persuasion, pressure, and contemplation. I think you will find the book will spark some interesting conversations.
View the book here (8 min. video). It’s currently a Scholastic Book Club book.
Savorings for reading and writing for Groundhog’s Dilemma:
Persuasion – shares thoughts on both sides; art of buttering-up someone
Jessica Olien (@jessicaolien) created a hybrid text in The Blobfish Book. Students are introduced to the creatures of each ocean zone. Facts are shared with real photos of the animal creatures. Blobfish adds his first-person commentary on each page with speech bubbles. The humorous style will hook your kids into learning more about the ocean.
When the text shares that the Blobfish was named the ugliest animal in the universe, Blobfish has a melt down. The other creatures, his friends, rally around him to uplift his spirits.
This book trailer includes an explanation of the different ocean zones.
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.
Skunk takes a walk at night to visit his friend, Possum. Possum seems to be hiding. He hushes his friend. He’s afraid. He’s afraid of the night animal.
The evening continues as Gianna Marino introduces other night animals – wolf, bear, bat – in Night Animals. Using speech bubbles, the animals share personified feelings of fright for the darkness. Humorously written, the reader will learn who are night animals and what their behavior is like. My favorite if Possum, especially when Skunk gets surprised. Do you know what skunks do when they are frightened? This book would be a fun way to introduce a nonfiction text on the subject of nocturnal animals.
When I heard Jeff Anderson readScaredy Squirrel, I instantly added the title to my must-have list. The voice Melanie Watt uses with her delightful, yet nervous, character grabs your attention. You are hooked.
This summer, I came across another book in the series, Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party. You will quickly learn Scaredy Squirrel is particular. He’s very contemplative and plans ahead for possible disasters. He does not want any surprises.
When Scaredy Squirrel plans his birthday party, he is very detailed. The party schedule makes me chuckle. You can definitely sense his anxiety. The party schedule page could be combined with a math activity. Student could have clocks and calculate the digital time to analog time. It also show a comparison usage of the colon – in time and also in a list.
A surprise gift warms Scaredy’s heart. Even young children will get a sense of how the character changes by an act of kindness (what a lead in to a discussion on community). What a twist to Scaredy Squirrel’s well planned party.
View the YouTube trailer to predict possibly disasters:
Savorings for reading and in writing for Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party:
Voice – talks to the reader
Character Thinking – you can sense Scaredy’s personality
Character Change – notice the last page
Reading Charts – use the book to introduce nonfiction text that have inserted charts
Lerch, the fish, seeks a friend in Swim! Swim! by Lerch. Lerch searches his liquid home (a fish tank) only to be rejected. The pebbles, bubbles, and sub man sustain silence, leaving Lerch lonely.
James Proimos creates a fun read that will tickle your students. Lerch thinks he’s found a new friend finally, but you kids may think differently. Enjoy this read. You won’t be able to keep it in your library.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Swim! Swim! by Lerch:’
I featured this book at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute in June. What a fun title! I love the way a list of how to do somethings was integrated with speech-bubble interjections and narrative. David Slonim hooked me with his illustrations. This book is a great example of a “How To” book. Older kids could use it as an example to create a book for younger student on a subject they know a lot about. You could use this publishing technique for an All About Unit of Study.
In How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson,a slug wants to learn to read. A young boy shares with him and his mother the steps to reading, from making sure the slug can see the pictures and words to stretching out sounds. The author and illustrator use well-known books and create books with a slug as the them in the background illustrations and poems. For example, instead of the book The Cat in the Hat, they have The Slug in the Hat.
The book demonstrates how children should ask questions about their reading, including vocabulary or unknown words.
“What’s a tuffet?”
“A tuffet is a low seat.”
Savorings for reading and in writing for How to Teach a Slug to Read:
Persistence – reading takes time to learn
List book – how to learn to do something
Book jacket – mentions Susan spends lots of time in her garden – probably where an idea came from