Posts tagged ‘summer’
Retell: Lily spends each Wednesday at the neighborhood pool. She has decided that Tamika will be her best friend. Tamika however does not seem interested in being Lily’s friend. Lily tries many things to win over Tamika. She tries to dress the same and she shares her popsicles with her but to no avail. Lily eventually becomes friends with Keesha who doesn’t need to be impressed.
Topics: summer, pools, friendship, popularity
Units: Character, Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect, appreciations/no put-downs, right to pass
Reading Skills: prediction, interpretation
Writing Skills: balancing dialogue with reflection and description
My Thoughts: This book does a great job of addressing the issue of popularity. Every year I see students going out of their way to impress others who don’t give them the time of day. It could be an interesting book to use when discussing the ‘right to pass’. Though Tamika should have been nicer to Lily, she has the right to pass on her offer of friendship.
Thanks again Beth for another great read aloud.
Retell: Every summer the relatives from Virginia drive several hours to visit their family. There is a lot of hugging, a lot of chatting and a lot of eating. When they leave, the house feels a bit empty.
Topics: family, summer, reunions
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Memoir
Reading Skills: envisionment, inference, making connections
Writing Skills: using sensory details, describing how time passes
My Thoughts: I found this classic for only $2 at a great used bookstore in Mt. Shasta, California. It used to belong to a library so the bottom of each page is cracked, crinkled and reinforced with tape–a testament to how much we love this book. This is a wonderful book to use during the Personal Narrative unit. Though it’s not technically a small moment (the book spans over two weeks) sections of it can be used as a mentor text. I notice that many of my students struggle when writing about time. They often spend a lot of energy including each detail because it happened ‘next’. I see a lot of stories where each sentence begins with ‘then’. Sections of The Relatives Came could be used to show how authors deal with time. The relatives drive for a long time but Rylant doesn’t describe every single thing they see or every pit stop they make. She chooses to focus on a few details only, the strange houses, mountains, and their thoughts of purple grapes back home. The illustrations also tell a story themselves making it a good book for modeling inference.
Retell: When she was growing up, Patricia Polacco spent the summers with her father and her grandmother. In this charming book, Polacco tells the story of the time they found a magical rock that helped them cope with hard times.
Topics: divorce, summer, dads, grandmothers, storytelling, layoffs, magic
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Memoir
Tribes: attentive listening
Habits of Mind: responding with wonderment and awe
Reading Skills: prediction, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: using commas in lists, crafting meaningful introductions
My Thoughts: Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite authors and I often read several of her books during the Personal Narrative unit. Most of her books are inspired by moments, people, and places in her life. In the beginning of My Ol’ Man, there are authentic photographs from Polacco’s childhood. This book would be great to read as you are teaching how writers use artifacts to generate notebook entries. When writing about people, my students often make lists of what they like about a person. This book will be great to use as a mentor text to help students move from list writing (“My dad likes tacos. My dad takes me places.) to narrative writing (“One time my dad brought out this book of stamps. I’ll never forget the time when my dad took me for a ride in his 1947 GMC truck.”)
Topics: heat, rain, family, summer, cities, thunderstorms
Units of Study: personal narrative, poetry
Reading Skills: envisionment, making connections
Writing Skills: including similes, using active verbs, personification, alliteration
My Thoughts: This book makes me wish it was more humid outside right now. Every New Yorker without air conditioning will be able to relate to this book. I love how Hesse uses poetic devices throughout this small moment story, making it a nice mentor text for personal narrative or poetry unit. She includes personification: “The smell of hot tar and garbage bullies the air…” There is alliteration and assonance: “The first drops plop down big, making dust dance all around us.” Hesse teaches young writers to slow down and zoom in on ordinary moments.