Elementary Library Lessons: Dec 9-13, 2013

Kindergarten: Week 2 of our Peter Brown author study.  This week: Chowder.  I wanted to include my K’s in thinking thoughtfully about books, so I scaffolded the 2nd/3rd lesson for them. (see below)  Goals: review author / illustrator, fill in spine label information as a class, fill in a sentence stem: “I like how ___” after the story.  Oh, and Rhyme Time!

Wow!  The sentence stems really got them to think about the story in a different way, as one of their challenges is thoughtfully responding to a book.  In other words, not always saying that they like it because it’s cute/funny/awesome/etc.  This sentence starter really worked.  My evidence:  I had 1 student who couldn’t complete the sentence in a manner that made sense.  The other 26 could – pretty good!

A management tip I have for using sentence starters: have students think silently, then show a thumbs-up when they are ready to share their response.  I wait until all thumbs are up, then have them turn and share with their neighbor.   I always migrate toward the students I think may need additional guidance and/or support at this time.

2nd grade: Book: a WCCPBA nominee – Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.   Goals:  motivate check-out via nonfiction booktalk, teach T=Tell what you like, share orally in class TAG discussion.

This book was a winner.  In short, they loved it.  As it was a version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I could’ve done a number of lessons with the book (Venn Diagram, our own class retelling, etc)…but I was focusing on the TAG strategy this week.  They had plenty of reasons why they liked this book.  I created sentence stems to aid in their replies: “I like how”, “I like when”, and “I like that”.  These solved their tendency to begin with “I like it…” and encouraged deeper thinking.

3rd grade: Book: a WCCPBA nominee- Larf by Ashley Spires.  Goals: motivate check-out with fiction booktalks, teach T=Tell what you like, share orally in class TAG discussion.

Another popular book.  They had great discussion about the purpose of the newspaper announcement of a Sasquatch’s visit to a city near Larf (was it a trick to lure Larf out?) and the visual clues included by Spires of another “real” Sasquatch.   This discussion as we read led into wonderfully rich sharing in our TAG discussion.  Again, the sentence stems were very useful!

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