I had a lot of fun considering favorite picture books as I considered the variety of ways one could organize a story. So many times in elementary school kids are given a prescription for writing and they must follow that. Writing is more fun when students are free to organize their thoughts or ideas creatively. Four picture books provide inspiration for young writers by demonstrating different book structures and encouraging students to organize a story uniquely.
Before we jump in to our lessons about American history, I wanted to make sure my daughter had a general understanding of the geography of the USA. The United States of America would be nothing without the land. Before we study the people who live here, we need to understand where “here” is! Our introduction to U.S. geography focused on the major landforms that make up North America: the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Grand Canyon, to name a few. We learned the geography of these major American landmarks by reading the folk tales about Paul Bunyan!Continue Reading
I’ve recently finished reading Treasure Island in the original and unabridged language with my son. In Treasure Island, young Jim Hawkins travels across the ocean to a remote island, where the crew of the ship mutiny and turn out to be pirates! They spent plenty of time on the beaches of Treasure Island, and both my son and I enjoyed the setting, the intrigue, and the final result of their treasure hunt. To celebrate our finishing the book, I wanted to do something fun! Why not have a backyard treasure hunt in our backyard “island”?
The class I teach at co-op is a combination reading and writing class: my goal is to help the kids in class learn to approach literature, and really any book they read, with a critical eye. Can they predict what happens? Can they see the evidence in the text to support their arguments?
It’s a challenge to work with kids from ages 5 to 10. They are at all different levels! But I have found that many picture books can be read and appreciated by all ages, and both the younger and older kids have been getting something out of this class.
To encourage reading at home besides what I do in our weekly class, I have created a “reading challenge” for the students to participate in. Badges for Book is a simple way to encourage a diverse diet of reading, and I’ve found it allows kids to choose books at their own reading level to complete the “challenge.”Continue Reading