Posts tagged ‘action’

126. Strong to the Hoop by John Coy

strong to the hoopRetell: James has always wanted to play basketball on the main court.  Knowing that he’s too young and too small, he practices on the side court.  One day a player gets injured and he volunteers to play.  Though he misses shots and fouls other players, he gains his courage and ends up winning the game.

Topics: basketball, courage, playground, body image, boys

Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Personal Narrative

Tribes: personal best, appreciations/no put-downs

Reading Skills: envisionment, inference

Writing Skills: incorporating similes, alliteration, using commas to list action, balancing internal thinking, action and dialogue

My Thoughts: This book was hiding on my read aloud shelf in my classroom.  I forgot all about it and now I’m kicking myself for not reading it to my class during our recent Realistic Fiction unit.  This is a fantastic small moment mentor text.  The events of the story are few:  a boy practices, enters a game, struggles, and wins.  However through a balance of internal thinking, small action and dialogue, the author creates a suspenseful, meaningful story.

November 7, 2009 at 7:34 pm Leave a comment

28. The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter

the librarian of basraRetell: This is the true story of Alia Muhammad Baker.  During U.S. air raids in 2003, Baker managed to hide and save over 30,000 books from destruction.

Topics: libraries, Iraq, heroism, action, war, books, community

Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area Reading and Writing, Journalism

Tribes: mutual respect, personal best

Reading Skills: prediction, questioning

Writing Skills: using dashes

My Thoughts: Stories like this one restores my faith in humanity.  Alia Muhammad Baker’s story is a great one to share with kids, many whom don’t even know that the U.S. is involved in two wars at the moment.  Her story was originally published back in 2003 in the The New York Times.  Reading The Librarian of Basra in conjunction with the The New York Times article could be a great way to emphasize the role of a journalist to bring to light stories that would otherwise go unnoticed.  I plan on reading this at the beginning of the year to reiterate the importance of reading. 

Click her to read Shaila K. Dewan’s 2003 New York Times article about Alia Muhammad Baker

July 24, 2009 at 9:12 am Leave a comment


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