69. Big Al by Andrew Clements
Retell: Big Al is one scary fish. He happens to also be the nicest fish you’ll ever meet. Unfortunately, the other fish in the sea don’t realize that. Big Al tries to make friends but the others can’t get past the way he looks. One day the little fish get caught in a net. Big Al comes to the rescue and the other fish realize what a wonderful fish he really is.
Topics: fish, friendship, respecting differences, appearances, golden rule
Units of Study: Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect
Habits of Mind: thinking flexibly
Thoughts: It’s that time of year again. I’m exhausted from moving desks from one end of the room to the other, cleaning up after leaks under the sink (disgusting!!), and labeling hundreds of books destined to enter my classroom library. I was almost too tired to choose a read aloud today. But then my friend Katie came to my rescue and brought this read aloud which she plans to read during the first week of school. This is a wonderful book for discussing the meaning of mutual respect. Some may read this book and think, “Why did Big Al go and save the rest of the fish? They didn’t give him the time of day. They don’t deserve his help.” Even though Big Al was not being respected by the other fish, he didn’t let the fish get caught in the net. He did what was right and not only gained many friends, but taught the others a valuable lesson.