News from the Library–Oct.21, 2013


Non Fiction Text Features Hunt

This week fifth graders reviewed the different features we find in non fiction that help us understand and find information.  Then each student was given a packet to work on that required them to find features such as headings diagrams, indexes, maps, charts and graphs, captions, and types of print in non fiction books in our collection.  In addition to finding the feature they wrote down what that feature showed or highlighted and how it was helpful in understanding the material.  I used a wonderful lesson plan and materials for the packet that I purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers .  (

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners used the story re-telling rope to retell the story of the witch who wanted pumpkin pie in Erica Silverman’s Big Pumpkin.  After hearing the story, one student held the “rope” while other students told about the setting, the characters, the problem, the beginning, middle, and end, and the solution.  Using the rope is a great way to keep the discussion focused and gives them reminders about how to re-tell a story.

First Grade–First graders became Writer’s Craft Detectives and looked for the way Erica Silverman used writer’s tools in her funny book, Halloween House.  From having the story start with a wordless illustration, to the rhyming words, and the countdown of numbers there were many “tools” we could discuss.

Second Grade–Fluttering Feelings was a Visible Thinking Routine we used with Helen Cooper’s Pumpkin Soup, a delightful story with incredible illustrations that gets us in the Halloween spirit (without going crazy).  Students tracked the different feelings of the main characters and they went from congeniality, to annoyance, to anger, to fear, and finally to compromise.  This is a great book for this thinking routine.

Third Grade–Making inferences requiring blending of prior knowledge with knowledge at hand fit perfectly with our creepy story this week, The Spider and the Fly, based the poem my Mary Howitt and illustrated amazingly by Toni DiTerlizzi.  After studying a slide from the story and making observations and bringing their knowledge of spider behavior, they had a wonderful time noticing all the hints and clues in all the illustrations in the story.

Fourth Grade–Fourth graders were Word Detectives this week when listening to One Halloween Night by Mark Teague.  Following the adventures of Mona, Floyd, and Wendell on a wild trick-or-treating adventure gave rise to some excellent and colorful vocabulary and using context and picture clues, fourth graders solved all the “mysteries.”  This is a great read aloud for Halloween–just a little scary but with wonderful large illustrations that capture everyone’s interest.

Fifth Grade-  see opening post

Sixth Grade-Because next week is the fall festival and sixth graders will miss their library time, I had to read them the traditional sixth grade scary ghost story this week.  Our all time favorite and one that gets them every time is “The Surprise Guest” by R.L. Stine in his collection of stories called Beware.  A haunted Halloween costume, an old mystery, all told in first person….this gives just the right amount of chills for this age.

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