Tuesday, August 19, 2014

19th August Book Week Connect to Reading Part 2

I shared the shortlist for the Picture Book with my four classes of Year 2 students. I agonised over whether to buy The Rules of Summer as I thought the illustrations were quite dark and the rules worded rather negatively and that I would need to do too much scaffolding to do it justice in one or two thirty minute library lessons. I thought I would wait and see if it won and then decide. Well it did win and I am still not sure what I want to do!

The other shortlisted books were fun to share and easy to use the connection theme with. We stared with King Pig  because the students all wanted to read it. They thought it would be funny and they 'love' Nick Bland books. We book talked it in pairs where the students had to focus on what made it funny and discuss whether or not it had a message or theme. They easily recognised the theme but were surprised that a humorous story could have a serious message. This prompted revisiting other books they knew such as Click Clack Moo Cows that Type  and Farmer Duck.

It also led effortlessly to The Windy Farm which also looked as if it would be humorous. Similarly here the students worked out that this was not only funny but had a deeper message. Two of the classes were currently studying the environment and were keen to talk about energy sources and how common wind energy was. This led naturally to the book Energy Island  by Allan Drummond which tells the story of Samso, a Danish island that is powered by wind energy.

I thought Toby the character in Parachute  may have been too young for my Year 2 students to relate to, but in their Book Talk pairs they quickly began to talk about fears and make connections to themselves. The subject of 'security blankets' arose and one class and I revisited Lisa Shanahan's Gordon's Got a Snookie in order to once again look at the connection between humour and serious themes. The other three classes talked more about overcoming fears and we used Sonya Hartnett's  Come Down Cat to make connections, both literally with cats and heights, but inferentially about how to and when to be brave.

And lastly,  Silver Buttons  which was my favourite and the easiest to get the students involved in. We talked about small increments of time and what could be done in them. We timed activities with stopwatches. We looked at what is 'momentous' and what is 'mundane' and argued the story events inclusion or not.  The Book Talk final discussion was to sum up the book in one word. I was amazed by how well the students did this. There was the obvious 'minute', but others were 'time', 'life', celebration', and 'importance'. I used At the Same Moment Around the World and Just a Second as either pre or post reading.

King Pig  and  Silver Buttons were the most popular of the books we read when the students voted.

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