Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray

A sweet memoir about a girl and her mother and the fun days they shared through the seasons.
Word Choice
Gray uses wonderful memorable language to convey feeling in this text: "When a warm spring rain would come pinging on the windowpane, we'd kick off our shoes and out into the rain we'd go." Her choice of adjectives and verbs paints a vivid picture of the activities she and her mother would embark on. Lesson Idea: After reading aloud the book, discuss how the author uses words to convey a feeling. Create a chart to show the langauge the author uses and the feelings the language conveys. Discuss how the word choice of the author makes a difference in the types of feelings conveyed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Web Files by Margie Palatini

Ducktective Web and his partner, Bill, have been called to the farm. All of the vegetables are vanishing! Will they be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?
This book provides a wonderful model for conventions as various punctuation marks are used throughout. Written in police report form, the sentences are short and to the point. As the Ducktective and his partner question witnesses, quotations are used throughout. Lesson Idea: Read the book aloud once to your students. Discuss what would happen if the book did not have conventions. Provide an exerpt of the book with the punctuation marks removed as a model on the overhead. Read each sentence and think aloud for the students as you determine the punctuation marks that are necessary. After, provide another exerpt with the punctuation marks removed for the students to work on with a partner.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Charlie Cook's Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson

Charlie Cook has a favorite book about a pirate, who also has a favorite book about Goldilocks who also has a favorite book about. . .
A fantastic book to get children interested in reading. Each page takes the reader into a new book through the character from the previous book. Each character loves to read! The author easily weaves various genres and different types of characters through the story as Charlie goes on an adventure in reading. Lesson Idea: Put together a group of books that will motivate your students to read. Include this book. Put the group of books in a special place in the classroom library. Highlight the section as "Great Reads" and encourage students to read a book from the group when he needs additional motivation for reading.