109. Encounter by Jane Yolen
Topics: Christopher Columbus, explorers, gold, Taino, trade, slaves
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Historical Fiction, Content-Area
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: interpretation, envisionment, inference
Writing Skills: using figurative language
My Thoughts: Yesterday was Columbus Day and to celebrate, here is one of my favorite Columbus Day read alouds. Since the story is told from the perspective of a child, students will be able to relate to how powerless the boy feels. He warns his people not to trust the “strange creatures” that were “spat out of the canoes”, but no one listens to him. This is a fantastic text for teaching inference. Yolen takes great care not to use terms that would have been foreign to the Taino people. Readers must constantly infer what the boy is describing. For example, Yolen describes beards as “hair growing like bushes on their chins”. When Columbus claims the island for Spain she describes how people “knelt before their chief and pushed sticks into the sand”. It’s important to model how readers constantly consult the illustration while reading the text in order to construct meaning.
Entry filed under: Female Authors, Picture Books. Tags: Columbus, content-area, envisionment, explorers, figurative language, gold, historical fiction, inference, interpretation, mutual respect, nonfiction, slaves, Taino, trade.