Posts tagged ‘bullying’
Topics: bullying, revenge, ants
Units of Study: Fantasy
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: analyzing character motivation, interpretation
Writing Skills: experimenting with sentence structure
Thoughts: Apparently this story was made into an animated movie back in 2006. I guess I’ve been out of the loop.
This is a great read aloud for teaching about karma, the Golden Rule and the basic concept of treating others (even non-humans) with respect. It’s also a great mentor text for students writing fantasy stories. The structure is short and simple enough to mirror the fantasy stories that upper grade students may be writing. It’s also great for demonstrating how stories can be structured around teaching the reader a lesson.
Unfortunately, it looks like this book is out of print. Definitely worth a trip to your local library.
Retell: During a drought, the Logan family shares water from their well with anyone who needs it, be they white or black. Hammer, the narrator’s brother, finds it difficult to share with the Simms family who have tormented the Logans for being black. After Hammer defends his brother David and beats up Charlie Simms, he and David are forced to work on the Simms’ farm to avoid jail. Hammer, however, never quite manages to swallow his pride and gets involved in another altercation that causes Charlie to take revenge.
Topics: drought, racism, segregation, bullying, fighting, family
Units of Study: Historical Fiction, Talking and Writing About Texts, Social Issues
Tribes: mutual respect, right to pass, appreciations/no put-downs
Habits of Mind: managing impulsivity
Reading Strategies: inference, synthesis, interpretation, envisionment
My Thoughts: I’ve been trying to locate shorter chapter books to read aloud. I’m finding that some of my favorite chapter books are too long to complete before the end of a unit. The Well is short, only 92 pages and can be completed within a month-long unit. I think this could be a great book to read if a class is struggling with the issue of revenge. In this story, Hammer cannot control his temper. The situation is extremely unfair, and you empathize with Hammer for fighting with Charlie. But on the other hand, his decision to take revenge led to his family’s well getting poisoned. It raises the question whether or not it’s better to fight back with violence or fight back in other ways.
Retell: Every day students tease Maleeka Madison. Whether it be her good grades, her homemade clothes or her dark skin, it seems like the world is against Maleeka. She does others’ homework in exchange for friendship. That is until Miss Saunders, a new teacher from the business world, challenges Maleeka to think for herself.
Topics: self-esteem, confidence, body image, race, middle school, peer pressure, money issues, assault, clothing, status, taking a stand, arson, bullying
Units of Study: Character, Social Issues, Historical Fiction (Writing), Literary Essay, Talking and Writing About Books
Tribes: appreciations/no put-downs, right to pass
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, synthesis, making connections
Writing Skills: keeping journals, writing poetry
My Thoughts: This is a fantastic text to read aloud in a middle school classroom. I’m not sure that I would read the text as a whole to everyone in an upper elementary grade classroom. I would encourage certain fifth grade book clubs to read and discuss this book. I plan to read certain sections from this book. For example, Maleeka keeps a journal which she writes from the perspective of an African girl aboard a slave ship. There are several scenes throughout the book where Maleeka’s historical fiction writing parallel’s her own life. This would be a great way to show how writers of historical fiction create characters who struggle with similar issues to their own. This is an excellent cautionary tale detailing what can happen if you refuse to let others force you into situations that you know are wrong.
Retell: Trisha has a difficulty with reading. Though admired for her artistic ability, she gets teased at school for being dumb. That is until her teacher, Mr. Falker, stands up for her and teaches her to read.
Topics: bullying, honoring the different ways we’re smart, family relationships, death of a grandparent, importance of small group instruction
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Character, Social Issues
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best, appreciations/no put-downs
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference,
My Thoughts: This is a read aloud classic. Since I start every school year off reading this book to my class, I thought it was only proper to start my blog year with one of my favorite read alouds. Thank You Mr. Falker is one of those books that kids have heard a thousand times but never get tired of it. I usually refer to this book and reread parts of it in several units throughout the year.