Posts tagged ‘grandparents’
Topics: boys, brothers, growing up, catholic school, rough-housing, adventure, reading, family
Units of Study: Memoir, Personal Narrative, Nonfiction
Tribes: Mutual Respect, Appreciations/No Put-Downs
Habits of Mind: Finding Humor
Reading Skills: Understanding figurative language and humor
Writing Skills: Balancing dialogue with description and inner thinking, including prologues
Thoughts: This is a must-read for any teacher who plans on doing a Personal Narrative or Memoir unit. Most stories are short (1-3 pages), hilarious and at times disgusting. I personally love the story entitled, “Car Trip,” a story about brothers in the back of a car reacting to a cat puking. Many of the stories end with a reflection making them ideal mentor texts if you’re teaching Memoir. One story, “Random Reading” may be useful during a Nonfiction unit. In this story he talks about enjoying the diagrams found within the pages of the Golden Book Encyclopedia series. Jon Scieszka writes particularly with boy readers and writers in mind. If you haven’t already, check out his website called Guys Read.
Topics: grandparents, family, rural communities, childhood, country
Units of Study: Memoir, Personal Narrative
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation
Writing Skills: writing commas in lists, including poignant details
My Thoughts: This is a read aloud classic that I have rediscovered. My class has just started collecting ideas for their memoirs. I read this book out loud the other day. Though half the class had read it previously, there were no groans when I showed the cover and read the title. During a “turn-and-talk” I over heard one student convincing her partner that the author was trying to show how special rural life can be. She said, “In the city, you are never allowed to go outside by yourself. But in this book the girl was allowed to go to the swimming hole all by herself. I think this book might be about freedom.” I had never actually read this book in that way before. I love it when my students make me see a book in a new light.
Read this book when you need the room to go to a peaceful, sentimental silence.
Topics: New York, family, Statue of Liberty, grandparents, immigration
Units of Study: Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: prediction, envisionment, inference, questioning
My Thoughts: This book is typically read during an Immigration unit. However I don’t think I can wait that long to read this book. A scene that stuck out for me was the part when Tony helps a young woman who pulls on his jacket, worried that the last boat has left. Apparently no one has been able to help her because she doesn’t speak English. Tony is patient with her and through gestures explains that another boat is on the way. When reading this aloud, I plan on emphasizing this moment and hope it will spark a meaningful discussion about how we can help students who have limited English skills.
This is a great text for modeling expression. Each character has a distinctive personality which may come out best if the reader creates voices for each character. For example, Rosa talks in “a reading kind of way” and should sound official (or as we say in conferences “like a teacher”). Mike seems a bit mischievous and should sound like it.
Retell: Day in, day out Grandpa always says the same thing: “Could be worse.” One day Grandpa tells his grandchildren about a wacky adventure he had the night before. At the end of the rambling story his grandchildren surprise him by delivering his favorite phrase.
Topics: imagination, grandparents, family
Units of Study: Fantasy, Realistic Fiction
Habits of Mind: Creating-imagining-innovating
Writing Skills: storytelling
My Thoughts: This month our TC staff developer (Colleen Cruz) will be working with the upper grades on planning interactive read alouds. She reiterated that interactive read aloud is THE most important part of the school day and should never be cut out. She also mentioned that teachers should try and tuck in different kinds of read alouds throughout the day whenever possible. This has inspired me to find quick, fun texts that I can read during transitions or during times when kids are riled up.
“Could Be Worse!” is a cute, short read aloud that can be used to connect to the storytelling work that students are doing during Writing. I think I’m going to read this next week as students get in line. The next day, I could work in fluency practice by having students say the grandkids’ line while I say Grandpa’s lines and on the next day vice versa.
Retell: When Mary Ellen becomes bored of reading her grampa takes her on a hunt for a bee tree. People from the community join them as they run through the Michigan countryside chasing bees. By the end of the bee tree chase Mary Ellen learns that there are many similarities between chasing knowledge through the pages of a book and chasing bees.
Topics: reading, outdoors, adventure, grandparents, community, knowledge
Units of Study: Realistic Fiction, Personal Narrative, Authoring an Independent Reading Life
Tribes: personal best
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, interpretation
My Thoughts: I like reading this book at the beginning of the year when we author our own independent reading lives. I think this year I want to keep referring back to the book when we have particularly juicy conversations. When students ask interesting, provocative questions I could refer to them as ‘honey questions’. I need to make a banner with Grampa’s words: “[Adventure, knowledge and wisdom] do not come easily. You have to pursue them. Just like we ran after the bees to find their tree, so you must also chase these things through the pages of a book!”
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: grandparents, journeys, San Francisco, Japan, World War II, California, travelling, home, being homesick, family
Units of Study: Memoir, Social Issues
Reading Skills: envisionment, interpretation, inference, making connections
Writing Skills: adding setting details, developing the heart of a story, including reflection, including endings that connect to the beginning
My Thoughts: I think I have a soft spot in my heart for this book because I too get homesick for more than one place. Allen Say’s illustrations remind me of faded photographs and automatically put me into a reflective, sentimental mood. This is a perfect text to use during the Memoir unit. Though it starts out as a story about his grandfather, it ends up being more about the author himself.