Posts tagged ‘prediction’
Retell: Ada Ruth can’t wait for her mom to return home from Chicago. The story takes place during World War II. Ada Ruth’s mother has gone North to seek jobs on the railroad. With help from her grandmother and her new feline friend, Ada Ruth is able to wait patiently for her mom to come on home.
Topics: goodbyes, World War II, Chicago, family, pets, cats, poverty, hunger
Units of Study: Historical Fiction, Talking and Writing About Texts, Social Issues
Tribes: personal best
Reading Skills: inference, prediction, interpretation
Writing Skills: tucking in details about setting, zooming in on small moments
My Thoughts: This is a great text to read aloud during an Historical Fiction unit. It’s a useful text for modeling how readers think about symbolism (or alternatively how writers incorporate symbolism). For example, it would be helpful to point out the meaning of the kitten in the story. One could read the story without giving much thought about the kitten’s importance. However, upon closer reading, one could read into the kitten’s significance. Perhaps the kitten is a symbol that represents Ada Ruth’s hope that her mother will write soon. Perhaps the kitten symbolizes her loneliness.
Retell: A mouse named Amos and a whale named Boris become friends after Boris saves Amos from drowning. When he is returned to land Amos vows to help Boris if he’s ever in need. Many years later Boris finds himself washed up on the very beach where Amos lives. Though he is but a tiny mouse, Amos makes good on his promise.
Topics: ocean, adventures, survival, help, mammals, friendship, goodbyes, relationships
Units of Study: Character, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Reading Skills: interpretation, prediction, monitoring for sense, envisionment
My Thoughts: This story is so heartwarming that you may have to have a box of tissues ready for the end of the read aloud. Steig’s illustrations are so simple, yet he has a great way of expressing emotion. Often there is a lot more going on in the text than in the illustrations. When reading this book aloud, it’s important to show how readers must envision even when illustrations are present.
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.
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: persisting, gathering data through all senses, striving for accuracy and precision, questioning and posing problems, applying past knowledge to new situations
Reading Skills: prediction, synthesis, determining importance, interpretation, empathy
My Thoughts: With the announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Barack Obama, you may want to take the opportunity to discuss the history of the prize itself. It’s a great text for discussing the Habits of Mind. The illustrations are quite large and are particularly vivid–perfect for classroom read alouds.
Retell: Masako is a Japanese-American who moves to Japan after spending her childhood in America. Adjusting to life in Japan is rough for Masako. She must repeat high school in order to learn Japanese, her classmates call her gaijin (a derogatory word for ‘foreigner’), and she must learn how to be a proper Japanese lady. One day she boards a bus for Osaka and finds work, a companion and a cure for her homesickness.
Topics: English, Japanese-Americans, homesickness, culture shock, matchmaking, individuality
Units of Study: Character, Social Issues, Personal Narrative, Memoir
Tribes: right to pass
Habits of Mind: taking responsible risks, thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, prediction, empathy
My Thoughts: I especially enjoy Tea With Milk because I have a personal connection to this book. I taught English for three years in a rural village in Japan. I can relate to May and her struggle to get used to sitting on the floor (women are expected to sit on their knees–it’s considered rude to sit cross-legged) and missing comfort foods. When I read this book I thought of my students who often visit the countries where their parents are from and experience an identity crisis similar to the one that May faced. I hope that this book inspires them to write their stories. Though this is technically a personal narrative (the main character was the author’s mother) you could angle this to fit in many different units including the current Character unit. It’s particularly useful for modeling how readers notice subtle changes in a character.
Retell: A thief discovers a woman who claims to be the “richest person in the world.” He ransacks her hut but fails to find her gold. He goes on a quest to find the woman and her gold. What he finds instead are people who teach him that being rich has little to do with gold.
Topics: gold, greed, thieves, kindness, hard work, acceptance
Units of Study: Character, Social Issues, Talking and Writing about Texts
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: prediction, interpretation, inference, empathy
Writing Skills: incorporating the rule of three
My Thoughts: I first discovered this story when I went to a Great Books training years ago. I’ve since used it a few times during the Character unit. It is a great text for examining how people can change because of their relationships with other people. It’s a great text to use when you are launching whole class conversation during and after read alouds.
Topics: taking a stand, segregation, laws, civil disobedience, bravery, boycotts, power
Units of Study: Social Issues, Historical Fiction, Character
Tribes: right to pass
Habits of Mind: taking responsible risks
Reading Skills: interpretation, prediction
Writing Skills: balancing description, reflection and dialogue
My Thoughts: When I read this book I thought back to a unit our fifth grade teachers did last year that was focused on power. Students looked at power structures in the classroom, in school and at home. Students looked at times when they were powerless and times when they had the power. When reading this book it would be interesting to discuss the question, “Who has the power?” This story inspires children to think about what risks they would be willing to take. Imagine if an entire classroom decided to boycott McDonalds because they disagreed with how the company targets children. Or what would happen if a classroom decided to boycott toys made in places that use child labor?