Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

We took a break from our usual Armadillo and 2x2 books in The Book Nook this week, and enjoyed I Love You, Mouse by John Graham, with pictures by our illustrator of the month, Tomie dePaola.  The story follows a young child as he walks through pastures and woods and professes his love for the animals he encounters. 

Truth be told, all of my usual go-to Valentine books had been checked out, so I chose this one by chance.  It is a simple book with a specific pattern, easy to read to kindergarteners.  But how could I extend it to suit second graders?

The answer was to have them recognize, then repeat the pattern with their own animal choices.  I did this with kindergarteners by giving them prompts, but with the second graders, I encouraged them to remember the five parts of each stanza, then make their own by verbally using their animal of choice.  A simple story about a love for animals turned into a review of baby animal names (if we knew them), man-made and natural habitats, and typical foods and activities of the students' chosen creatures.  I left a two-page spread open so they could refer to it as they recited their extension of the story.  Almost every student chose to participate in this activity!


I finished reading City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau and Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace for one fifth grade book club, and now have to get started on The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron and Jim Murphy's nonfiction Newbery Honor Book, The Great Fire for the next group.  It has been great fun having four different Book Lunch Bunches this school year; I am getting great book recommendations from the independent reading groups, and stretching my own reading experience with the shared book readers.

My current personal book choice is A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World by Thomas Moore, chosen as my Lenten learning activity.  Moore discusses building one's religious practices from internal guidance, regardless of whether or not one is participating in organized institutional faith communities.  Giving up Facebook time for Lent has opened up some reading time before my workday begins! 

It's Monday; what are you reading this week?

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