Posts tagged ‘questioning’
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.
Topics: birds, pigeons, urban areas, cities, habitats, migration, camouflage, adaptation, roosts, crows, shelter
Units of Study: Content-Area, Nonfiction
Reading Skills: envisionment, questioning, determining importance, synthesis
My Thoughts: I’m currently looking for books that will support the current Nonfiction unit. I considered reading this book immediately, but I think I’m going to save it for our Content-Area unit. During that unit we’ll be studying Food Chains and Habitats in Science making this book a perfect fit. Urban Roosts is a book that will encourage urban readers to reconsider the common pigeon, finch or crow–a great book for modeling envisionment in nonfiction.
Retell: Rudy Soto yearns to fly. He climbs up a cliff and captures a young hawk in the hope that he will be able to become brothers with the hawk and thus have a sense of what it means to fly. Eventually he sets the hawk free and is forever changed.
Topics: hawks, dreams, flying, keeping pets, freedom
Units of Study: Talking and Writing About Texts, Social Issues
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: questioning, inference, interpretation, synthesis
Writing Skills: using alliteration
My Thoughts: Each year the issue of whether or not to get a class pet comes up. I have mixed feelings about class pets. I think they can be very useful for studying life cycles and animal habitats, but I don’t like the idea of animals in cages. I may read this book the next time the issue arises in my classroom. It will be an essential text during the interpretation unit and could also be an interesting one to read or reread during Social Issues.
When I was looking for images of this book I came across a website with a fantastic resource. Through the Magic Door is an online bookstore that has put together some fabulous lists of books that may be very useful when making text sets. Hawk, I’m Your Brother can be found under the list of books that are all about Flying.
Topics: fossils, trilobites, dinosaurs, ocean, landforms
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe, striving for accuracy and precision
Reading Skills: envisionment, questioning
Writing Skills: using repetition
My Thoughts: One of the many goals of this blog is to discover hidden read aloud gems. This is one of those books and it just happens to fit with our current Science unit. I love how the author invites the reader to envision what the world must have been like when today’s mountains were covered by a vast ocean. This book could also make a good mentor text for students who need help using repetition effectively. If you decide to have students read and write nonfiction poetry, this book would be a good addition to that unit.
Topics: gasoline, carbon emissions, global warming, petroleum, coal
Units of Study: Personal Essay, Nonfiction, Content-Area
Habits: Thinking flexibly
Reading Skills: questioning, determining importance, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: using repetition to make a thesis stronger, using supporting reasons and examples to support a thesis
My Thoughts: I mentioned before that my students are currently studying earth movements (how mountains are made, volcanoes, etc). Next week students will examine fossils found in rocks. This book could be a nice extension of the fossil investigation. It blew my mind years ago when I learned that petroleum is made from decomposed fossils. When we are in the Personal Essay unit I plan on rereading parts of this text to show how the writer weaves in her opinions and supports them with facts.
The beginning of the book explains how petroleum is made and how it has been used throughout history. Throughout this section the phrase, “They still didn’t use much” repeats. The author argues that gasoline and other petroleum products are not inherently evil. After all, the reason why we still have forests and whales is connected to the invention of distilled petroleum. I like how the book ends with the question, “What ways can you think of to help?” After the read aloud students could brainstorm ways to use less gasoline.
Retell: Easter is around the corner and Miss Eula wants a new hat to wear to church. Her grandchildren and her young neighbor decide to ask Mr. Kodinski if they could work at his hat shop to earn extra money. On the way to his shop, he mistakes the children for vandals. They come up with an interesting way to earn back his trust as well as earn enough money for a new hat.
Topics: reputation, hats, chutzpah, Easter, vandalism, gifts, Holocaust survivors
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Memoir, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Habits of Mind: thinking flexibly, creating-imagining-innovating, persisting
Reading Skills: questioning, inference
Writing Skills: zooming in on small moments, repeating powerful lines
My Thoughts: If you follow this blog daily, you’re sick of seeing entries about Patricia Polacco. I can’t help it. I love her work. Since I’m currently in the Personal Narrative mindset, her work naturally comes to mind. The illustrations in this book can be powerful teaching tools. Throughout Chicken Sunday, real photographs appear in the background. This shows that Polacco thinks about significant people in her life and then writes stories about them. I love how Mr. Kodinski’s story can be inferred through the illustrations. Previously, Miss Eula alluded to the fact that he wanted a peaceful life after suffering so much. The text never states specifically why he had a difficult life. The illustrations give you the information. Tattooed on Mr. Kodinski’s arm are six blue numbers, revealing that he survived the concentration camps. This book shows students how readers can reread a text and peal a different layer of meaning with each reading.
Topics: animals, adaptations, habitats, marine life, mammals, mimicry, camouflage
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content Area
Reading Skills: envisionment, questioning, synthesis, determining importance
Writing Skills: developing voice in expository writing, including conclusions that sum up and release the writer
Thoughts: I’m worried about a boy in my class. He dropped four reading levels over the summer. He’s distracted during Reading Workshop and his reading log shows he’s not reading at home. However, he’s obsessed with the books in the dinosaur bin and carries around a gaming magazine. He’s a nonfiction reader trapped in a unit of study focused on fiction. I think of him as I plan my read alouds. I want to make sure that I’m finding time to tuck in nonfiction read alouds throughout the week, even though we’re not currently in a nonfiction unit. Fake Out! is a high engagement nonfiction read aloud that just happens to look like a “low level” book. Reading this book aloud ‘blesses’ this struggling reader’s level and will hopefully make “All Aboard” books cool to read.