Elementary Library Lessons: Jan 6-10, 2014

Kindergarten:  With only six weeks until another break – and a sneaky feeling that weather will yet again affect my lesson planning – we began a new author / illustrator study.

Feature author / illustrator study: Ezra Jack Keats.  Story: Goggles!  Goals: Review jobs of author / illustrator, review spine label, reinforce E section of library, locate another book by Keats in the E section as a class.  And critical thinking questions!

Questions I like to ask:

  • There are 3 characters in this story with names: 2 boys and 1 dog.  Listen for their names.  I will ask who they are at the end of the story.
  • The title of the story is Goggles!  I know of one type of goggles – the kind you wear when you swim in the water.  Can you think of any other types of goggles?  (This is one of my all-time favorite questions – the answers really give an idea of the type of thinkers in the class.)
  • During reading: Imagine you were Peter or Archie, and you met the big boys.  What would you do if they demanded the goggles?  Be honest.

I love-love-LOVE the stories of Ezra Jack Keats.  I read his books every year to my K’s, and I enjoy watching them build connections between his stories.  Peter, Archie and Willie appear in a number of his books, many of which I’ll read in the coming weeks.

2nd and 3rd grade: WCCPBA nominee: This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.  Goals: Review TAG, practice (as a class) Give a Suggestion, evaluate (independently) Tell what you like and Ask a question.

I explained to my students that there are 2 ways they could Give a Suggestion: suggest who might like this book (age or grade range) or suggest an idea to the author.  One thing I learned – they would like the story, but not recommend it for their age.  If they liked it, I explained that they should include their age / grade in the range.   This made sense to most of them.

This particular title was chosen for the multitude of questions a student could ask.  Take a look at their independent work to see some of the creative, thought-provoking questions they came up with!

The purpose of these TAG lessons is two-fold: to increase the quality of student-written reviews / recommendations in Destiny and to prepare for an author visit by Candace Fleming in early March.  I want my students to know what they like about her book and to have thoughtful questions prepared about her books prior to her visit.  By pre-teaching these skills now – and reviewing them as the visit nears – I hope to have an audience of well-informed, thoughtful readers.

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