Everywhere, Wonder

April 5, 2018

Writer, Matthew Swanson, and illustrator, Robbi Behr, collaborate to create books. Read their story here or Google their YouTube video of what it’s like to collaborate together.

In Everywhere, Wonder, emphasis is placed on children noticing the world around them. Reading books brings new lands and climates alive. The information we gather can then be used to create our own stories to share. Matthew and Robbi created a printable book for kids to share their stories. I would love for each classroom to read and discuss this book. It’s a wonderful mentor text for sharing at the beginning of collecting ideas in notebooks for narratives and nonfiction possibilities.

Savorings for Everywhere, Wonder:

  • Story to share
  • Noticing. Observing the world around you.
  • Sensory detail
  • Geography. Climates
  • Visualizing
  • Wondering – how to ask questions about what you notice

Mama’s Stories

March 1, 2009

I love the voice of the child and her mother in the book Tell Me a Story, MamaAngela Johnson penned a narrative in the structure of  a conversation between mother and daughter.   David Soman paints the bed time setting as the background of the conversation.  True in our home, my children often share information about their day or ask questions that bring insight into their curious minds.

The book warms my heart a I see a reflection of my family.  Being mischievous as a youngster, my husband (not me)  often shares memories in his life that conjures much laughter.  My kids soak it up.  The past week, our oldest, Wes, began sharing the antics of each new teacher he has this trimester.  I couldn’t help laughing, but it made me wonder what stories my students were sharing about me.

Family stories – they’re the best.  Tell Me a Story, Mama is a great way to connect to oral story telling in your class.  I also believe it’s an excellent text to share with your families to promote story telling at home.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Tell Me a Story, Mama:

  • Two Font Types – supporting the back and forth conversation
  • Repeating Structure
  • Flashback – favorite stories of the mother’s childhood
  • Questions
  • Voice – the young girl’s and the mother’s
  • Inferencing – difficult economic times; responsibility of the older sibling

Girls playing Baseball

February 25, 2009

Enjoying the sport of baseball, I love learning about historical events that are reflective of the game.  Angela Johnson shares a story told by a grandmama to her granddaughter in Just Like Josh Gibson (illustrated by Beth Beck).  The story begins with a glimpse into Josh Gibson’s life playing baseball and hitting a ball out of the park.  On that day, the grandmother was born. 

Her papa “showed up […] with a Louisville slugger and a smile.  He said his new baby would make baseballs fly, just like Josh Gibson.”

Grandmama continued to share how she learned to play well, but in those days, girls did not play baseball.  Until… a boy broke his arm and couldn’t.  Grandmama was the star of the game.  The story ends with her passing the legacy on to her granddaughter.

An author’s note shares information about Josh Gibson.  Surprisingly, it also shares about “one young lady during the 1950’s that did get to play with the boys though it wasn’t in the majors.”  I’m intrigued by the information shared and plan to read more about these famous baseball-playing women.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Just Like Josh Gibson:

  • Family stories – passing on the legacy
  • Repeating phrase – “Grandmama says...”
  • Close echo – “Those summer days were like magic as the balls sailed away, sailed away, gone.”
  • Ellipse – “Too bad she’s a girl….  Until …”
  • Author’s note – historical information