Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Funny Books, Atlantis, and Pandas

Week 30 

PreK 3, 4, Kindergarten - Funny Book week!

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems
When a naked mole rat asks "Why not wear clothes?" he really shakes up the establishment. Clothes are a form of self-expression, he figures, so why not give them a try? Despite everyone's admonition that he should remain naked, he remains steadfast and manages to convince them to reconsider. The whole concept of nakedness is so fun, especially when students think of Wilbur's situation in the reverse: What if WE came to school naked instead of clothed? Yikes!

He Came With the Couch, by David Slonim
When a family needs a new couch, they are very particular about choosing the right one. Turns out the one they want already has an occupant sitting on it. The family adjusts to life with this fellow somewhat begrudgingly until he shows them exactly what he's made of! This is a hoot with a fun surprise ending. Cartoony oil illustrations have a David Shannon feel.

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, by Michael Ian Black
A perfect mentor text for teaching persuasive writing! Or, just a darn funny read-aloud. The ridiculous premise (that we've all been dying to see a pig parade) kicks off a hilarious list of reasons (with supporting details!) for why it's a "terrible idea." Some abbreviation is needed for reading aloud with young children but they enjoy the concept. Oil illustrations.

Grade 1: Guiding Question - What are some text features that help us know if a book is fiction or nonfiction? 

To support first grade's animal classification unit, we'll be looking at fiction and nonfiction books about different types of animals. Sometimes it's hard to tell if a book is fiction or nonfiction, so each week we'll examine text features that give us clues. 

Text features that suggest nonfiction content
maps, diagrams, labels, captions, headings, glossary, index, table of contents 

This week we looked at books about pandas. These look like fiction picture books from the covers, but after looking at the text features inside we found that most are actually nonfiction books!

Can you guess the fiction book? (Hint: it has a character name in the title)

Grade 2: Guiding Question - Why did cultures create myths?
Last session we talked about how myths often explain events in nature. This week, we talked about myths that explain aspects of human behavior, cautionary tales created to teach citizens how to behave and please the gods. We talked about the myth of King Midas, whose greed for gold caused him to turn his own daughter into a golden statue. We read the myth of Altantis, in which an entire society earned the wrath of the gods by turning against each other for power and ambition.

Atlantis, retold and illustrated by Christina Balit 
Richly illustrated in bright colors and gold leaf, this retelling of the myth of Atlantis is stunning and reads beautifully. We learn how Poseidon created Atlantis as a tribute to his mortal wife, Cleito, and gave it to his sons to rule over. Its citizens lived in peace and harmony, thankful for the many natural wonders Poseidon provided for them. But over time, the people began to bicker and become ambitious and greedy. Zeus, displeased, demanded Poseidon punish them, and so he created a wave that swallowed up the entire island until it sank to the bottom of the sea where, some say, it still resides.

Grade 3: Guiding Question - Where should our "Dewey Advertisement" movies take place?
© 2006 Tommy Wong | (via: Wylio)
We will use our new green screen to film our Dewey Ads with different locations in the background in our Dewey Ads. Each pair brainstormed logical places for their Dewey sections and started writing up their scripts.

Here are some backgrounds the pairs came up with:
100s - a haunted house
200s - a cathedral
300s - a battlefield
Haunted House
© 2008 Matt Trostle | (via: Wylio)
400s - a school for the blind
500s - a jungle or aquarium
600s - a farm or space shuttle launch 
700s - a race track
800s - Shakespeare's Globe Theater
900s - the Giza pyramids

Grade 4: Book Check-out and Reading

Grade 5: Guiding Questions - What is a "found" poem and how do we create one?
A found poem is one created from words published elsewhere. Using old Time for Kids magazines, we scoured articles looking for "golden words" - words that sparked our imaginations, felt meaningful, rich. By blacking out everything except these words, all that remained can be read as a poem. As with our other poetry sessions, we followed the rule of evoking emotion in the reader to determine the success of our poems.
We decorated with images (and practiced our image-citation skills) and will scan each poem to post on students' web pages. See my sample below:

Environment in Danger

Planet's precious,
dying out.


News isn't all bad:
Conservation Conservation,
Let's not wait.

For older students try this with newspapers, as suggested here

Bibliography: Found Poem Images
Conservation Week 2010. 2010. Department of Conservation. Flickr: Department of Conservation. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. .
Hocksenar, Paul. Extinction. 2009. Flickr: Vermin Inc. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. .
(NASA-GSFC), NASA. earth_from_space.jpg. 11.07.2002. Pics4Learning. 26 Apr 2011
Schwietzer, Jean. Climate Change. 2005. Flickr: Jeanclicclac. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Skeleton in the grass. 2009. Scorpions and Centaurs. Flickr: Scorpions and Centaurs. Web. 22 Apr. 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard of some of these books; thank you! He Came With Couch piqued my interest.