Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 13

Wonder by RJ Palacio
Suggested Read Aloud for 4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Classes
Targeted Skills: EVERY human needs to read this because reading in school should not just be about skills. Reading can make us better people.

Ever since I first read Wonder back in the summer, I have been on a personal mission to tell everyone that I know to read this book.  It reminds me so much of Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper, which is a book extremely close to my heart.

In typical librarian fashion, I pushed this book into the hands of my upper grade teachers at the beginning of the school year. Two classes have finished reading it (4th & 5th). Three more are currently reading, and I have several who want to start it after the holidays (Mission accomplished!). My teachers have said that they are able to teach so many of the reading skills through this book, so it is not just a "fun" read aloud--it can be tied to instruction, as well.

 I had the privilege of going into the classrooms of the 4th and 5th grade classes who have finished it to have a discussion about this gem of a book. I was so excited to go on their "turf" rather than have them come into the library so that I could relive my days discussing great books in a classroom setting. My students did not disappoint. The discussions with each class were insightful, and I could truly tell that they took the theme of Wonder to heart. We discussed how we can take the book's message (Be kinder than necessary to ALL people) and apply it to our own school. I made pledge cards for each child to sign. I brought black Sharpies, and we discussed that signing our names to this pledge was very serious. The pledge card reads, "I pledge to end bullying in my community, and in my daily life, to be a little kinder than necessary." (Click here to get a version of the pledge. I tweaked it for each kid to sign.)After the holidays, my plan is to make a "Wonder Wall" and display the pledge cards. I hope this generates interest in not just reading Wonder, but in making our school and community kinder because of it.

If you are a classroom teacher reading this blog, please read this book to your students. If you are a librarian, read this book for yourself (if you haven't already), and do that librarian book pusher thing. If you are a human being reading this blog, then read this book. It's not just for kids. It should be required reading for all of humanity.

Wonderful Wonder Resources: 

Wonder Read Aloud Resources--Perfect visual guide to use as a companion while reading aloud
Choose Kind Tumblr--Includes the "Choose Kind" pledge
Wonder Schools--Make reading Wonder a school-wide initiative

Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming
Read to: 4th Grade 
Targeted Skills: Review Literary Skills of Character, Conflict, and Theme

I read this book to 3rd grade last week, so please see my post in Week 12 about this lesson.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Read to: 3rd Grade
Targeted Skills: Review of Plot Elements (sequencing) and Compare and Contrast with the movie version

Ironically, this book was first a movie, which won a 2011 Oscar for best animated short film. I shared the movie with my students last year because it provides a rich, in-depth discussion for the power of books in our lives. (Fabulous for discussing digital media literacy). Of course, we had to read the book version this year. Honestly, I enjoyed the movie more (when does THAT ever happen?), but the book is wonderful, too--just not as magical as the movie version. I read the book in the library, and then the teachers showed the 15 minute clip in the classroom to compare and contrast. Well-worth the time! 

 Lesson Frame

How to Teach a Slug to Read
by Susan Pearson
Read to: 2nd Grade
Targeted Skills: Characteristics of Expository Text; Characteristics of Procedural Texts

I read this to Kinder and 1st Grade last week, so please see my Week 12 lesson post for more details. 

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
Read to Kinder & 1st Grade
Targeted Skills:What makes this book fiction? Look for elements of character, plot, and style; Follow steps of how to draw the pigeon (use app)

I read these books to 2nd grade during week 11, so please see my post about that lesson. However, I only read Duckling this week, and we drew the pigeon using the app. So fun! The kids loved it and could easily determine the "procedure" words that Mo Willems uses. 


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