Grades PreK3, PreK, K
Guiding Questions: Who are some of the characters in Mother Goose rhymes? What does "nonsense" mean?
We read some of the sillier nursery rhymes this time about characters such as Peter Pumpkin Eater, Old Mother Hubbard, Little Jack Horner, and Little Boy Blue. We talked about how sometimes these characters don't make any sense: they are nonsense rhymes.
After reading "Little Boy Blue" we played a game that practiced using location words. In pairs, one child held a haystack, the other a figure of Little Boy Blue. When given the dirction word, the child with the character had to hold him in the right spot in relation to the haystack. For example, Little Boy Blue sleeps ABOVE the hay, sleeps UNDER the hay, and so forth.
Grades 1, 2, 3
Guiding Question: How do illustrators work on a picture book?
We continued our unit on Caldecott books by examining the detailed process illustrators go through to complete a picture book: choosing which scenes to illustrate, making a dummy book, solving each picture's unique problem, designing each page's layout, finalizing illustrations, and choosing materials.
After discussing the process, we examined two wordless Caldecott winners.
Noah's Ark, by Peter Spier.
Noah's Ark works well as a wordless book because the story of Noah and the 40 day flood is familar to us. We experience the noise and activity of the inside of the ark, intuit Noah's mood, and feel the silent nothingness outside the ark. This is a wonderful book to show how an illustrator's thoughtful planning can create emotions in the reader.
Flotsam is a stunning picture-only book in which the illustrations tell the amazing story of what journeys an old camera has taken through the ocean: what it has seen and who has discovered it. This book keeps students engaged and guessing about what wonders the ocean really holds.
We will continue to look at David Wisner's books next week since he is a five-time Caldecott winner.
Grades 4 and 5
Guiding Question: What are the main Dewey categories?
We reviewed the ten main Dewey categories and connected those categories to some of the students' favorite types of books. For example, books about pet are in the 600s, which is the "technology" section but deals with how we use science in our daily lives. Students also practiced putting books in decimal order with the "Order in the Library" game.