Posts tagged ‘description’
Topics: gargoyles, play, perspectives, night
Units of Study: Fantasy
Reading Skills: envisionment, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: using descriptive language, incorporating interesting vocabulary
My Thoughts: I never realized how much I love the works of Eve Bunting. This is the third book of hers that I’ve reviewed. Night of the Gargoyles might be a nice book to read on or prior to Halloween. It’s spooky but not too creepy. It’s also a good book for introducing the idea that there are different perspectives other than our own. A lot of writers have created fabulous stories by considering the perspective of animals, objects, insects, etc. (ex. James and the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web). This could then lead to a discussion about using personification in our writing.
Retell: Sugar and her mama share the same birthday. Sugar enjoys listening to her mother’s stories. She especially misses them now that her mother is in prison. Her mother finds a way to share her stories even from far away.
Topics: mothers, families, prison, stories, birthdays
Units of Study: Social Issues, Personal Narratives, Realistic Fiction
Tribes: attentive listening
Reading Skills: interpretation, questioning, empathy
Writing Skills: writing with a balance of description and reflection, keeping a writers notebook
My Thoughts: This is a moving story about a girl who is dealing with the fact that her mother is imprisoned. There aren’t many published stories like this in the world. It’s a great model to use when you teach your students to write about stories you wish belonged in the world–the ones that show aspects of your life or struggles you are going through. The author never reveals what the mother did to land her in prison which I think is a nice touch. The book isn’t about the mother, but about how much her daughter misses her.
Topics: moon landing, space, Apollo 11, teamwork, goals, problem-solving, perseverance
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content Area, Personal Essay
Tribes: attentive listening, mutual respect, personal best
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference, interpretation, determining importance
Writing Skills: using descriptive language, inserting quotations, using dashes, using ellipses
My Thoughts: To commemorate its 40th anniversary I plan to read at least one book about the moon landing this year. What I love about this particular book is its emphasis on teamwork. As the title suggests, Apollo 11 was successful because of the dilligence of several hundred-thousand people working together in teams trying to accomplish one goal. It’s a dense book so I can see reading only a few sections at a time. This could be used as a rich mentor text for writing nonfiction. Thimmesh writes with excitement and enthusiasm making the text very engaging.
Topics: dogs, witches
Units of Study: Fantasy, Character
Tribes: Appreciations/No Putdowns
Reading Skills: inference, prediction, making connections
Writing Skills: using a balance of description and dialogue, using interesting verbs
My Thoughts: I really felt for Scamp in the beginning of this book. I’m a sucker for dogs who are down in the dumps. Unfortunately Scamp’s owner, Orvie calls him a “silly old dog” when he catches his dog pretending to be a horse. Though calling someone ‘silly’ may not be the worst putdown heard at school, I can still see using this book as a way to discuss the damage brought about by insults and putdowns. Scamp begins to feel better, and his luck begins to change when he hears how much Orvie appreciates him. The Whingdingdilly also teaches the importance of appreciating ourselves for our strengths rather than putting ourselves down for our faults. This could also be used as a mentor text during a unit on Fantasy writing. The story has a few fantastical elements but is mostly based on reality.