Ellie

March 24, 2018

Everyday we have opportunities to brighten the lives of others.

On my first reading of Ellie by Mike Wu, the story line seemed to be a simple story. The setting and characters are set with a zoomed-in lens with white background. Ellie’s eyes capture your heart and you are drawn in to her emotion. It was the scene of Ellie first trying her painting, giving it her first try after Walt had modeled the basics, that I made a connection. Ellie explored her talent and surprised her “teacher” with the unexpected. Ellie’s talent shined because Walt: 1) celebrated her accomplishment; 2) brought her the needed tools to thrive; and 3) honored her contribution.

We are like Walt. At the moment Ellie had self-doubt, he encouraged and supported. And like Walt, we equip our students with tools to create, explore, and flourish. We have the power to propel our students forward to paint their masterpieces while we celebrate alongside.

Show this book trailer to your students to introduce the book.

Click this link to hear the video online. The story pace allows the children time to admire the illustrations. This link would be a wonderful eLearning book to share with your students. You could have them write a response to the book sharing about what they are good at, a time they helped someone, or maybe a special trip to the zoo. You can then discuss the deeper meaning of the book with your class.

Savorings for Ellie:

  • Introduction to Story Elements
  • Internal Conflict
  • Repeating phrase -“If only…”
  • Making a Difference
  • Teamwork

Big Bug/ Super Bugs/ Some Bugs

March 10, 2018

27431983Children often have a favorite topic to write about. They return to the topic and use the same genre in sharing their information. For example, if a child loves his dog, he often will write a story, a narrative. This writing practice is a great start.

One way to broaden children’s understanding of genres is to present books on the same topic with different formats. You can compare and contrast different books on the same topic. Dinosaurs. Trucks. Bears. Show them how this information can be shared out through a narrative, informational text, poetic nonfiction, poetry, all about, etc.

Three books I found recently lend themselves to this kind of study.

Savorings for Big Bug:

  • Opposites – big versus little
  • Perspetive
  • Comparison of size
  • Circular/ Bookends – begins with a bug that looks small on a big leaf  but is a small leaf to a big tree, and continues (begins with the topic of bugs but is only one part of the book versus the other books are all about bugs)

Savorings for Super Bugs:

  • Rhyming
  • Setting – each two page spread illustrates a scene (you could write about each scene)
  • Teamwork
  • Repeating Lines
  • Heroes
  • Author’s Note – writes about what fascinates her

Savorings for Some Bugs:

  • Illustrations are a fascinating collage
  • Repeating structure
  • Vivid Verbs
  • Personifies the bugs – communicating, playing
  • Last 2 pages is a culmination of all the illustrated pages
  • Invites the reader to action – explore their ordinary backyard

Savorings for National Geographic Everything Insects:

  • Nonfiction text features
  • Photographs in natural setting
  • Scientific explanations
  • Link to further research

Yes We Can!

November 14, 2013

Just hearing the title of the book, Yes We Can!, gives me a boost of energy. Sam McBratney , author of Guess How Much I Love You?, chose to focus on the positive, something kids often forget to do (or adults for that matter). Life is full of possibilities and this book triumphs in teamwork over put-downs.

Three friends, Little Roo, Country Mouse, and Quacker Duck, decide to make the biggest mountain of leaves ever – together (seem familiar during this fall season). Upon resting, one character challenges another by saying, “You can’t ….” Each character tries to no avail, only to have their feelings hurt from laughter from the others. A wise mother intervenes and changes the point of view from ‘can’t’ to “What can you do?” Charles Fuge’s illustration depicts the emotions from frustration to success.

I love how they accomplish a task and the friends applaud each other. I have been sharing this book with my first grade interactive writing group and they are connected to the story. Positive and encouraging comments have been the goal for this week (and hopefully throughout the school year.)

Savorings for reading and in writing for Yes We Can!:

  • Community building
  • Dialogue with all three types of sentences for a punctuation lesson
  • Every day happening
  • Repeating structure
  • Kid voice – “Don’t you dare laugh at me!” cried Roo.