Posts tagged ‘prediction’

11. The Whingdingdilly by Bill Peet

the whingdingdillyRetell: Scamp is tired of being a dog and wishes he was a grand horse.  He runs away and encounters a witch who turns him into a creature called the Whingdingdilly.

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.

July 7, 2009 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

8. The Lucky Star by Judy Young

the lucky starRetell: Ruth, a young girl growing up during The Great Depression, discovers that her school will be closed down before she enters her 5th grade year.  Ruth learns a lesson of perseverance and counting one’s lucky stars.

Topics: The Great Depression, perseverance, family,

Unit of Study: Historical Fiction, Character

Tribes: Personal best

Reading Skills: inference, making connections, prediction

Writing Skills: incorporating setting details, using sensory details

My Thoughts: This book would be a great mentor text during a unit on reading and writing historical fiction.  However, I’m tempted to use this at the beginning of the year when I introduce partner work and independence.  The Lucky Star teaches that smart people persevere through difficult situations.  A closure of a school, or similarly an absence of a teacher or a change in schedule, does not mean that learning stops completely.

July 4, 2009 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

5. The Girl Who Lost Her Smile by Karim Alrawi

the girl who lost her smileRetell: One day in Baghdad a girl named Jehan loses her smile.  Her father searches the world for someone who will help his daughter find her smile.

Topics: Baghdad, art, folk tales

Units of Study: Fantasy, Creating Community, Geography

Tribes: Personal Best, Mutual Respect

Reading Skills: envisionment, making connections, prediction

My Thoughts: This is a very quick read aloud which could be good for discussing the expectation of doing one’s personal best and the satisfaction it brings.  Throughout the book Jehan’s father brings her the most beautiful art in the world to cheer her up.  However, it is not until she participates in the arduous process of making a wall gleam that she finally finds her smile.  It woule be nice to use this as a community building mentor text.  We can discuss how Jehan’s family did their best to cheer her up and how we should try and give our friends encouragement and help them find their smiles when they are down.  Her father brings art from around the world to cheer her up.  I could see asking students to find those places on a world map to practice their geography skills.

July 1, 2009 at 9:14 am 2 comments

4. Neeny Coming, Neeny Going by Karen English

neeny coming, neeny goingRetell: Neeny and her cousin were raised on Daufuskie Island, located off the coast of South Carolina.  Years before, Neeny went back to the mainland to live with her mother.  When Neeny returns to the island, her cousin realizes that Neeny is not the same cousin she grew up with.

Topics: change, family, environmental issues

Units of Study: Social Issues, Character

Tribes: mutual respect

Reading Skills: envisionment, prediction, inference, monitoring for sense, interpretation, making connections

Writing Skills: writing with voice

My Thoughts: This is a great book for the Social Issues unit.  I can imagine a juicy discussion about how much the mainland changed Neeny.  Many of my students travel back to their home countries during vacation.  I think they could make a lot of connections to this book.  I can see using this book as a mentor text for showing how authors write with a distinctive voice.

June 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm 2 comments

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