Posts tagged ‘rhyme’

47. The House That Crack Built by Clark Taylor

the house that crack builtRetell: A serious poem, told in cumulative verse, detailing the many lives affected by crack.

Topics: crack, drug abuse, responsibility

Units of Study: Social Issues

Tribes: right to pass

Reading Skills: interpretation, inference, questioning, making connections

Writing Skills: using rhythm and rhyme

My Thoughts: This is an intense book.  I’m trying to decide if I will read it aloud to my students this year or not.  On one hand I think it’s important to have realistic discussions about drugs with elementary school students, but on the other hand I have to be aware that this book may be too heavy for some students.  If I do decide to read it aloud this year I think it could be a great for the Social Issues unit.  Chronicle Books has a great reading guide for the book which provides questions appropriate for both elementary and middle school aged children.

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August 13, 2009 at 1:19 am 1 comment

44. Shrek! by William Steig

shrekRetell: Shrek is proud to be an ugly ogre.  He loves everything disgusting and enjoys scaring people around him.  One day he visits a fortune teller who tells him that he is destined to meet a princess even uglier than he.  With the help of a donkey he travels to the castle, defeats a knight and meets the princess of his dreams.

Topics: ogres, nightmares, monsters, fortune tellers

Units of Study: Fantasy

Reading Skills: monitoring for sense, envisionment

Writing Skills: using rhyme, including interesting vocabulary

My Thoughts: I never realized how different the original story was from the movie.  The movie version has a much stronger moral more lesson but that doesn’t mean Steig’s classic does not have value as a read aloud.  I think this book lends itself quite well to modeling how readers monitor for sense.  Steig writes with rich vocabulary.  His characters never walk, speak, or work.  Rather they, stalk, hiss, and scythe.  Giggle alert:  the story includes the word jackass, which refers of course to the donkey in the story.  Read aloud with discretion.

August 9, 2009 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

38. Ling Cho and His Three Friends by V.J. Pacilio

ling cho and his three friendsRetell: Ling Cho is a successful farmer.  He feels sorry for his three friends who do not share his success.  He thinks of a way to help his friends without making them feel bad.  Unfortunately things do not go as planned.  His friends learn that it is more wise to ask for help than to take advantage of people.

Topics: harvest, farming, China, asking for help, honesty, friendship

Units of Study: Folk Tales, Talking and Writing About Texts, Social Issues, Poetry

Tribes: mutual respect, personal best

Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, envisionment

Writing Skills: using rhyme and rhythm,  incorporating alliteration

My Thoughts: This beautiful book teaches an interesting lesson on asking for help.  It also seems to caution against involving friends in business matters.  Ling Cho does a favor for his friends by asking them to sell his bumper crop of wheat at market.  They were supposed to split the profits.  However, each friend ended up keeping the profits or keeping the wheat.  The story is told in rhyming verse making it an engaging read.

August 3, 2009 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

36. You Can’t Go to School Naked! by Dianne Billstrom

you can't go to school nakedRetell: Parents try to convince their young son to put on clothes for his first day of school.  They manage to come to an interesting compromise.

Topics: clothes, consequences, individuality, decisions

Units of Study: Poetry

Tribes: right to pass

Writing Skills: using rhythm and rhyme

My Thoughts: This is a really cute ‘fun read.’  I can see using this during a discussion about rules and how they are usually implemented for a reason.  “If you went to school naked when the sun’s overhead, you would get a sunburn and turn very RED!”  It also addresses the idea of having the right to pass (even having the right to pass on wearing clothes) but that each decision we make has consequences.

August 1, 2009 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

20. Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler

kindness is cooler mrs. rulerRetell: Mrs. Cooler’s class is getting antsy and cranky.  She asks a few misbehaving students to do 10 acts of kindness at home.  The next day during show and tell, others are inspired to do random acts of kindness.  Eventually the project includes acts of kindness at school and throughout the community.

Topics: kindness, school, community, helping, volunteering, 100th day of school

Units of Study: Character, Realistic Fiction

Tribes: appreciations/no putdowns, mutual respect, community building, personal best

Writing Skills: using rhyme and rhythm

My Thoughts: I think I just found my 100th day of school read aloud.  The 100th day of school always creeps up on me and I end up doing a last minute project.  This year, I think I’ll use Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler to launch a Random Acts of Kindness Campaign.  In the book Mrs. Ruler’s class tries to do 100 kind acts at home, school, or in the community.  She puts each act on a paper heart and they have a celebration when they reach 100.  Since the 100th day of school usually falls close to Valentine’s Day, a Kindness Campaign could be a good way to turn a commercialized holiday into one that promotes a good cause.  Thanks Ms. Cuyler.

July 16, 2009 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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