News From the Library–Jan. 23, 2012

Find that Plot


One of the best ways to teach the literary elements is to read stories to students and have them discover them.  And one of the best ways to discuss plot is to read various versions of the Cinderella story.  There are many out there but one of my favorites turns the story on it head while retaining the important elements of the plot.  The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo makes for a great lesson and really appeals to the boys in the audience.  Third graders had fun listening to the story (I didn’t tell them the title) and trying to figure out what the connection was between this story and one they were familiar with.  We first discussed the elements of a plot and they listened for each of the elements as we went along. Close to the end of the book students looked like they were about to explode with their answers!

Also in the Library…..(this was a short week due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday)

Kindergarten–While Kindergarteners were walking to the Library (and having a hard time of it) I decided to switch from my planned story to Helen Lester’s hilarious and, in this case, timely book entitled Me First!  It’s the story of a pushy pig who always has to be first in line and first to get everything.  In the story he was asked if he would “care for a sandwich” and found out (too late) that there were two meanings to sandwich and being first to care for one wasn’t necessarily a good thing.  With a little humor, I’m hoping the Kindergarteners learned that pushing and shoving to be first isn’t they way they should walk to the Library.

First Grade–One of my favorite versions of Jack and the Beanstalk is the one told and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.  The story is a delight to read aloud and those illustrations…jaw-dropping….literally.  First graders were quite transfixed by this book.  It’s no wonder the story is a classic.

Second Grade–no library this week

Third Grade–see opening post

Fourth Grade–This week began our unit on American Tall Tales and after seeing a Keynote presentation about the elements of a tall tale, students watched a video version of Anne Isaac’s, Swamp Angel.  The illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky made this a Caldecott nominee and deservedly so.  After the video, students picked out each of the tall tale elements.

Fifth Grade–As I have just received my budget for the year (hooray!) and purchased a number of new books, we had another round of Speed Dating with Books.  Fifth Graders love doing this!  I put several titles on 3 separate tables.  After talking about how to look at a new book by using the jacket blurb and reading a few pages, students were broken into 3 groups.  They then have 5 minutes at each table to “get to know” the books and  at the end of the 3 rounds can choose a book to “have a relationship with.”  In the case of two wanting the same book, we simply flip a coin.  (If only it were that easy in real life…..)

Sixth Grade–no library this week

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