A Piece of Home

September 26, 2017

by Jeri Watts
Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

From the book jacket: Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia.  He struggles to adjust to his new home, where none of his classmates look like him and he can’t understand anything the teacher says — even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly to him.  Little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English and make friends.  One day, when he is invited to a friend’s house for the first time, he sees a flower he recognizes from his grandmother’s garden in Korea: mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him it’s called in America.  He brings a shoot to his grandmother, who plants the “piece of home” in their new garden.

This picture book is a perfect read aloud for any teacher who has an ELL student in his/her classroom.  The words and pictures describe the struggles the students (Hee Jun and his sister Se Ra) have at school while adjusting to America.

It opens the readers’ eyes to the fact that just because someone doesn’t know English does not mean that they were not well respected in their home country.   In this book, grandmother, is a well-respected teacher, regarded as a “wise and wonderful teacher” and she stands proud with her “shoulders erect.” But when she is in America she knows no English, has no job, and “she does not hold her shoulders erect and her eyes don’t gleam — not at all.” The illustrations perfectly depict these stark differences in emotions.

Use this book in a compare/contrast lesson with Eve Bunting’s One Green Apple.

Other ideas:

–learn vocabulary through context clues and illustrations

–metacognition–How does your thinking change as the book progresses?

 

Advertisements

We Found a Hat

October 18, 2016

by Jon Klassen

Image result for we found a hat jon klassen

Two turtles. One Hat. They found it together. So who should get it?

Great story about friendship, empathy, and sharing. What do you do if two people find one object? Who gets it? Is it right to go get it yourself if the other person is not watching?

Teach right and wrong with this great story!


Last Stop on Market Street

May 4, 2016

Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña
pictures by Christian Robinson

Book Blurb: A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Award Alert–This book got THREE!

  • 2016 Newbery Medal (for the words)
  • 2016 Caldecott Honor (for the pictures pictures)
  • 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor (given to an African American illustrator)

Needing to teach the life skill of helping others?  This is the book for you.

Needing to get students thinking about being selfless?  This is the book for you.

Just need a book that will get kids thinking?  This is the book for you!


My Two Blankets

April 28, 2016

My Two Blankets

by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

Diverse Children's Books: My Two Blankets There's a Book for That

This book comes highly recommended by our former ELL teacher, now professor at USF, Mrs. Riddle!

Blurb from the catalog: Cartwheel moves to a new country with her aunt, and although everything is strange, including the language, her old blanket of words and sounds comforts her. Then Cartwheel meets a friend who introduces her to new words and sounds, and eventually Cartwheel creates a new blanket of language.

Kobald uses descriptive metaphors to explain how Cartwheel feels in her new country:

  • “When I went out, it was like standing under a waterfall of strange sounds.”
  • “I wrapped myself in a blanket of my own words and sounds.”

Use this to teach:

  • Metaphors
  • Building friendships/relationships
  • Understanding other cultures and others’ differences
  • Building classroom community

Read this book in connection with:

  • One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
  • The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman
  • Dear Whiskers (chapter book) by Ann Whitehead Nagda
  • Inside Out and Back (chapter book written in prose) Again by Thanhha Lai

Waiting

March 3, 2016

Waiting

by Kevin Henkes

Awards: Caldecott Honor, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor

Book Blurb from the catalog: An owl, puppy, bear, bunny, and pig wait for marvelous things to happen.

 

Lesson Ideas:

Using illustrations to infer what happens.

Making predictions: What is the rabbit waiting for?

Writing prompt: What are you waiting for?
This book would be a great mentor text to get students writing about their hopes and dreams at the beginning of the year.  What are they waiting for this school year?

A definite must-read for an author study of Kevin Henkes
http://www.kevinhenkes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Waiting-Kevin-Henkes-Author-Study-2015.pdf

 


Just Itzy

March 17, 2015

itzy

Itzy Bitzy wants to be called just Itzy now that he is headed to spindergarten.  But, changing a nick name isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

The main focus of this picture book is how Itzy sets a goal to spin a web and catch a fly so he doesn’t have to bring his lunch to school.  After lessons from his teacher, Mr. Webster, Itzy sets out to spin his web to catch his lunch.  His first attempts are not successful, and he wants to quit after each attempt, but Mr. Webster keeps reminding Itzy to “Keep your eye on the fly” and to not give up.

Use this book with primary students who need help setting goals.  Transfer the story of Itzy setting his spider goals to students thinking about goals they want to set in school for the year.  This book is a great tie in to the First 6 Weeks of School and Responsive Classroom!

There are subtle references to Little Miss Muffet, the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and other nursery rhymes spattered throughout the book. A great comedic read!


Each Kindness

March 19, 2013

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson teaches kids about kindness–how each kindess ripples out bigger and bigger.

Now it’s your turn to tell about a kindness you have done.

Day 1:  Think about a time you did something kind for someone.  Remember this doesn’t have to be something HUGE.  The smallest kindnesses sometimes make the biggest differences!

  • What did you do?
  • Why did you do it?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did it change something for the person who received the kindness.

Try and write at least 5 sentences about your experience.