Posts tagged ‘dialogue’
Retell: 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.
Retell: Lily spends each Wednesday at the neighborhood pool. She has decided that Tamika will be her best friend. Tamika however does not seem interested in being Lily’s friend. Lily tries many things to win over Tamika. She tries to dress the same and she shares her popsicles with her but to no avail. Lily eventually becomes friends with Keesha who doesn’t need to be impressed.
Topics: summer, pools, friendship, popularity
Units: Character, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, appreciations/no put-downs, right to pass
Reading Skills: prediction, interpretation
Writing Skills: balancing dialogue with reflection and description
My Thoughts: This book does a great job of addressing the issue of popularity. Every year I see students going out of their way to impress others who don’t give them the time of day. It could be an interesting book to use when discussing the ‘right to pass’. Though Tamika should have been nicer to Lily, she has the right to pass on her offer of friendship.
Thanks again Beth for another great read aloud.
Retell: Danny, a new boy in town, is invited to ride on the back of a tiger. When he notices the fear in the eyes of passersby he tries to get off of the tiger. He soon realizes that once you get on the tiger it’s difficult to get off.
Topics: danger, choices, excitement, gangs, influence, power, respect, fear, peer pressure
Units of Study: Talking and Writing about Texts, Social Issues
Tribes: right to pass, mutual respect
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, envisionment
Writing Skills: using dialogue, incorporating metaphors in to a story
My Thoughts: As the school year approaches I am thinking about the books that I will want to read during the first few weeks of school. During the first two weeks of school I like to read books that lend themselves well to teaching the five agreements of our school (These agreements are based on Tribes. Our school added a fifth agreement–‘personal best’) Riding the Tiger is an excellent book for teaching about the ‘right to pass’. From the beginning of the story Danny doesn’t feel comfortable accepting a ride from the tiger without first asking his mom for permission. He accepts the ride anyway and becomes increasingly more conflicted about the ride. He eventually takes the ‘right to pass’ when he finally gets off the tiger and helps a man who has fallen down. This book will certainly inspire discussion about peer pressure and gang recruitment. When introducing this book you will want to set students up to do deep interpretation work. Some students may not realize that the tiger is metaphorical.
Retell: Joe is always lagging behind the class. His teacher and his classmates are always telling him to hurry up. It’s not until a classmate stops to tie his shoes that he realizes why Joe keeps falling behind.
Topics: school, field trips, discovery, curiosity
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Talking and Writing about Texts
Tribes: appreciations/no put-downs, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Reading Skills: interpretation, inference
Writing Skills: using repetition, dialogue
My Thoughts: The main character in this book reminds me of my sweetheart. When we’re on route somewhere he always stops to smell the flowers on butterfly bushes or picks fruit from trees. If I’m in a hurry it can be frustrating at first, but most of the time it’s worth it to be a few minutes late. I appreciate how he makes me slow down and notice the world around me. What Joe Saw is a good book to read when you want your class to discuss the importance of paying attention to small details. However, you may not want to read this book to your class just before going on a field trip. It may be good to read during an interpretation unit. I can imagine having interesting discussions about the individual vs. the group.
Retell: After a fire-breathing dragon destroys her castle, Elizabeth dons a paper bag and goes off to rescue the ‘charming’ Prince Ronald. Through cunning wit she tricks the dragon and frees the prince only to realize that perhaps he wasn’t worth saving after all.
Topics: fairy tales, dragons, princesses, princes
Units of Study: Fantasy, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: persisting, managing impulsivity, thinking flexibly, striving for accuracy
Reading Skills: interpretation, inference
Writing Skills: writing interesting dialogue
My Thoughts: This is a TC read aloud classic that I have seen used in several workshops on planning effective interactive read alouds. For such a short book, there are many ways you could teach with it. It’s a great book for discussing gender issues during the Social Issues unit. After rereading this book for the 20th time I just realized what a great text it is for teaching the Habits of Mind. Elizabeth uses a lot of them! For example, her entire castle burns down but she persists and goes to save Prince Ronald. She has no clothes but thinks flexibly and fashions a dress out of a paper bag. After competely exhausting the dragon she strives for accuracy and manages impulsivity by checking to make sure the dragon is truly knocked out.
Retell: It seems like everyone in school has a pair of black high tops with white stripes–everyone but Jeremy. Jeremy’s grandmother only has enough money for a pair of boots. When they spot a pair of “those shoes” at a thrift shop, Jeremy buys them with his own money, only to find out that they’re too small. He is then faced with a difficult decision–does he keep his blister-causing shoes or give them to a friend.
Topics: shoes, needs and wants, fads, money, grandparents, decisions, friendship, generosity
Units of Study: Character, Talking and Writing About Texts, Literary Essay, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best, community building
Reading Skills: inference, prediction, making connections
Writing Skills: using dashes, transitional phrases, incorporating a balance of dialogue and summary
My Thoughts: My fabulous student teacher introduced this book to me last year. Every year it seems there is some sort of expensive fad: Tech decks, sidekicks, iphones, sneakers, smencils. My heart breaks when I think about the students who are being teased just because they don’t have the latest fad. Those Shoes is a book to address this issue. It is an ideal book to read aloud to discuss the differences between need and want. I can see reading this book aloud during a Social Issues unit. I could also see using this as a text to analyze during a literary essay unit.
Topics: art, interests, self esteem, confidence, sibling issues
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Launching the Writers Workshop, Character
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Reading Skills: inference, making connections
Writing Skills: using a mixture of dialogue and description
My Thoughts: A friend of mine who is an art teacher once told me that between the ages of 8 and 10 many kids give up artistic pursuits. Apparently this age group becomes obsessed with making their art look realistic. Many people, myself included, stopped drawing and painting at this age because they lost confidence in their artistic ability. Ish is a story that addresses this issue in an adorable way. During read aloud students can analzye the role of the narrator’s sister who helps encourage him to recognize the beauty in his work. This book lends itself well to a discussion on personal best. Later in the book, the young artist starts a writers notebook making this a great book to launch classroom writers notebooks.