News From the Library–March 28,2011

The Power of Words

Having recently had a few cases of verbal bullying at our school–both real and virtual–I thought of this book as a way to talk about the power of words to second graders.  Sometimes a story is the best way to bring up a difficult subject and a way to present it in an age appropriate manner.  I remember hearing the story of  Toads and Diamonds as a child and it made a huge impression on me.  Something about that visual—the toads and snakes falling from the lips of the mean stepsister really brought it home.  Maybe it’s because children are more literal and symbolic at this age and although the toads and diamonds are symbols for mean words or kind words, that visual is very strong.  The version I read is retold by Charlotte Huck and wonderfully illustrated by Anita Lobel.  Words are powerful and they can hurt, especially in the case of cyber-bullying.  It’s a little sad to me that each year I “move down” my lessons on cyber-bullying but hopefully starting at younger and younger ages will help stop the problem.

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–We teach kindergarteners to follow the signs and the rules so they enjoyed seeing what happens when the signs start saying things that are really funny.  That’s the premise of Tedd Arnold’s delightful book The Signmaker’s Assistant.  Their favorite sign was the one on the toy store in which the town was instructed to “Bring Norman A Present.”  They did get very quiet, though, when the town tore down all the signs and chaos ensued.    When Norman apologized, fixed all the problems he’d caused, and was allowed to stay on as the signmaker’s assistant, they were relieved.  Good lesson on taking responsibility for your mistakes.

First Grade–Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann is the delightful story of a little girl who loses her “sweet tooth” and desperately wants it fixed.  After writing a letter to the tooth fairy and tucking it under her pillow, she hopes to hear back right away, but instead hears from Cupid, the Easter Bunny, and a Christmas elf.  When Tooth Fairy finally responds, Pinkalicious discovers where sweetness really comes from.  This was donated to our Library from a first grader and was greeted with lots of “semi-toothless” smiles!

Second Grade–see opening post

Third Grade–It’s alway heartwarming to see today’s children delighted by a classic.  This week I introduced third graders to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.  We read one of my favorites, “The Radish Cure,” and after I finished students clamored to check out our remaining Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books!

Fourth Grade–no library this week due to parent conferences

Fifth Grade–Fifth graders still love to be read to and this week I chose an historical fiction book, Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting.  Before reading the book we watched a YouTube video about the orphan trains that brought New York City Orphans to the West from 1854-1930.  The book tells the fictional story of a girl who hopes to find her real mother waiting for her at one of the train stops.  It’s one of those heart tugging stories that Eve Bunting is so skilled at writing and you could have heard a pin drop in the room when I finished.  I highly recommend this book.

Sixth Grade–no library this week due to parent conferences.

Next week is Spring Break!  See you on  April 11!

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