Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 12

How to Teach a Slug to Read
by Susan Pearson
Read to Kinder & 1st Grade (10 classes)
Targeted Skills: Characteristics of Expository Text; Characteristics of Procedural Texts

I started this lesson with a review of fiction vs nonfiction. We then talked about how nonfiction and expository mean the same thing. I even made up a little hand gesture to illustrate this to the kids: "Nonfiction (hold out left hand) and expository (hold out right hand) mean the SAME thing!" (clasp hands together at SAME). This seemed to help the kids understand this difficult concept.

Before reading the book, I showed the kids several nonfiction books from the library that had to do with steps and procedures (how to make bread, glass, peanut butter, Christmas crafts). We talked about what features made these "expository procedural texts" (SO FANCY!)  or basically "how to make stuff books." I then read them How to Teach a Slug to Read, and they showed connection fingers every time a step in the book connected to how they learned to read in their classroom. After reading the book, the kids easily distinguished that this book is fiction "because you can't really teach a slug to read!!" (Silly, Mrs. Bailey!!!) I then asked, so what if we changed the title to How to Teach a KID to read? "Well, then it would be nonfiction because these are the steps for teaching a kid to read. They just changed it to slug to make it funny." Did I mention that I teach geniuses?

Lesson Frame

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Read to 2nd Grade (5 classes) 
Targeted Skills: Characteristics of Literary Nonfiction; FACT vs Fiction
The more that I read this book, the more that I LOVE it! It is a perfect example of literary nonfiction for younger grades because the kids can easily distinguish the elements of fiction  but understand that this is about a REAL person.I told the students that Jane Goodall is a living person, and this book tells the story of her life as a little girl. It is a quick read, and the last picture is PERFECTION because it is a real photograph of Jane with the chimps in Africa. We had a wonderful discussion about WHY did Patrick McDonnell choose to use a real picture rather than draw Jane like he did in the rest of the book. The theme of this book is wonderful, too. The kids were inspired to dream BIG just like Jane.
  The back of the book lists some wonderful resources, as well as a message from Jane. I shared a video from "Roots and Shoots" about why she started this foundation with some of the classes, and they loved seeing that Jane was not only a real famous person, but that she is also still alive! (they were really impressed by this).
 Lesson Frame

Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming
Read to 3rd Grade (4 classes)
Targeted Skills: Review Literary Elements of Character; Conflict; and Theme

This is another one on the 2012 Bluebonnet List, and it is a perfect read-aloud for literary elements. Because this is a longer book, I had the kids do a lot of "Turn and Talk" so that they would not have to sit quietly for too long. Lots of great discussion! So many powerful lessons in this book, and I love the theme in the end. One of my faves!

Lesson Frame

Scarum Fair by Jessica Swaim 
Read to 4th Grade (4 classes)
Targeted Skills: FUN with poetry; Rhyme, Rhythm, and Figurative Language; Make Inferences

See my blog post from Week 8 for this lesson.

I FINALLY got my Bluebonnet board up!!  This is how I will keep track of which books each class reads!

I need to get going with 6th Grade!

A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt De La Pena
Read to 6th Grade (1 class)
Targeted Skills: Characteristics of Literary Nonfiction; Elements of poetry (free verse); Schema is CRUCIAL to making Inferences!

This a truly beautiful book in both the words and pictures. (Kadir Nelson can make a bowl of dog food look gorgeous.) I had the honor of meeting Mr. Nelson at the TLA convention a few years ago, and I must say he is my Illustrator Crush. You know you are a nerdy librarian when you say that.

Focus, Mrs. Bailey...Okay. As a I was saying, gorgeous, powerful book that is PERFECT for upper grades. We had a 45 minute discussion on this book because the teacher got so into it and really helped move the kids into higher-level thinking. I LOVE it when that happens! The kids realized how much background knowledge they had to have of Nazi Germany and the racial climate of America during the 1930s to fully understand this book. And the boys LOVED the boxing references. Super cool book for EVERYONE!

Lesson Frame

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