Sunday, January 13, 2013
Short Story: "Your Question for Author Here" by Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka, from Guys Read: Funny Business
Notes: The teacher liked the story; the class did not. I think it was too long for them, and letters aren't the easiest thing to read aloud.
Book: Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
Notes: Several kids called out, "I love this!" when we were about three or four pages into the story. Their interest fizzled by the end, which was too bad, but they loved the meta-fictional approach to the story.
Catholic School 5th Grade, 1/10/13
Activity: Writing Stories
I gave each of three teams a story starter. (It was the first line of Nim's Island - "In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl." For two of the teams, I changed the last word to "boy" and "monkey.") I then challenged them to take turns adding sentences to the story to see where their creativity would take them. Aside from an obvious need for more structure, they did a nice job. (Our story room's walls are eraseable, so that's where they wrote.) The results are below. (White marks appear where I Photoshopped out the kids' names.)
Books: How to Drive Your Sister Crazy by Diane Z. Shore and George and Martha: Encore by James Marshall
Notes: This group didn't get the humor in the book that I chose, but one of them had checked out the big collection of George and Martha stories, and they all wanted to hear one of those. I chose one we hadn't read before, and the kids liked pointing out how it was the same or different from a previous title we had read together. They asked for more George and Martha for next time, a request I will do my best to honor!
Book: Lentil by Robert McCloskey
Notes: The kids were very excited about the harmonica in this book. They were restless at first, but fell really silent as the plot got going. I always liked this book when I was around their age, and was glad to see it still holds up. I also want to keep this one in mind if I do a preschool music theme. And it would be great if I could get a harmonica!