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Shauna Sanders
Children’s Literature
Summer 2010
Reading Log 2
Poetry
Title: A Book of Nonsense (1861)
• Author: Edward Le...
Title: A Poke in the I, a collection of concrete poems (2001)
• Selected by: Paul B. Janeczko (multiple authors)
• Illustr...
Title: Fireflies at Midnight (2003)
• Author: Marilyn Singer
• Illustrator: Ken Robbins
• Genre: Science Poetry
• Format: ...
Title: The New Adventures of Mother Goose (1993)
• Created by: Bruce Lansky
• Illustrator: Stephen Carpenter
• Genre: Lyri...
Title: The Owl and the Pussycat (1991)
• Author: Edward Lear
• Illustrator: Jan Brett
• Genre: Narrative Poetry
• Format: ...
Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Title: The Bakery Lady (2001)
• Author: Pat Mora
• Illustrator: Pablo Torrecilla
• Genre: R...
Title: Blubber (1974)
• Author: Judy Blume
• Genre: Modern Fantasy
• Format: chapter book
• Awards: No awards
Summary: Thi...
book could even be a grade level book study to use with girls in fifth grade and
charts could be made from the discussion ...
have very different rules and governing bodies/individuals. This book would be
good to show how other countries live and a...
to help familiarize the students with some of the words that they would hear
throughout the story.
This story would also b...
being fed up with Tony’s demands, and the argument ends with a dare. Joel
dared Tony to swim out to the sandbar in the mid...
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Readinglog2

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Readinglog2

  1. 1. Shauna Sanders Children’s Literature Summer 2010 Reading Log 2 Poetry Title: A Book of Nonsense (1861) • Author: Edward Lear • Published by: Routledge, Warne & Routledge • Genre: Limericks/Poetry • Format: online website http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/BoN/index.html • Awards: No awards Summary: Edward Lear lived during the 19th century, but his poems were not published until 1846. He popularized the limerick type of poetry. This online version has 112 limericks to read, with three original limericks that were discarded. The title says it all when describing a limerick…a book of nonsense. A limerick has five lines and the first, second and fifth line rhyme while the third and fourth rhyme. These types of poems are especially popular with young children. Strategies: Students in every grade study poetry in some form or fashion. I would like to read some of these nonsense limericks to students and then have them work in groups to see if they could create their own funny limericks about teachers at school. We would discuss the layout or design of a limerick to make sure students understood which lines needed to rhyme. Another part of this lesson would incorporate learning how to use resources like a thesaurus and rhyming dictionary in order to find the words they need to complete their poems. Another strategy to use with Lear’s limericks would be to practice oral speaking. Many times our Spanish speakers can read and write English fine, but have a tendency to remain quiet around others whose first language is English. The students could pick their favorite limerick to recite out loud at a poem café, so to speak. We could have the library set up to look like a poetry café with tables and a microphone at the front.
  2. 2. Title: A Poke in the I, a collection of concrete poems (2001) • Selected by: Paul B. Janeczko (multiple authors) • Illustrator: Chris Raschka • Genre: Concrete Poetry for Children • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: Concrete poems are quite different than traditional poetry. The poems in this collection are sometimes hard to read because the beginning of the poem may not be obvious. The look of the poems typically outlines or creates a topic found in the poem. For example, there is a poem in the shape of a giraffe and the entire poem describes a giraffe. There is also a poem called easy diver that describes a pigeon diving off a building, yet landing softly. The poem is written to look like the bird in flight to the ground. Strategies: When I was a classroom teacher, this type of poetry was one of my favorite types to teach. It always surprised me, however, at how difficult this creation was for students. They can draw the shape they want the poem to be, but have a difficult time with the wording of these concrete poems. I think the best way to use this book would be to make transparencies of the poems or even use an Elmo to display the poem on the screen. Then, students can truly see the design of the poem itself. Again, this book would be fun to lead the class into writing their own concrete poems. A real go-getter media specialist could even involve the art teacher with this writing assignment. The media specialist could help the students with writing the content of their poems and then the art teacher could help the students put the words into a concrete poem form. An additional option would be to find an online program/website that would allow you to shape your words into different pictures. This is such a creative task for students to try and complete as opposed to the same old writing a poem on paper.
  3. 3. Title: Fireflies at Midnight (2003) • Author: Marilyn Singer • Illustrator: Ken Robbins • Genre: Science Poetry • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This children’s poetry book can be found in the 811 section of the Dewey Decimal System. The book begins with the poem called Robin which takes place at dawn. Then, the author takes one through the different hours of the day with poems dealing with nature. For example, there’s a poem about a horse around noon who just eats grass at this time because of the hot sun. There’s also a poem about a rabbit around dusk. The book of poems ends with the mole at dawn. Strategies: Even though this book is written to show the different animals at the different times throughout the day, this book would be a good lead into a lesson with younger students on telling time and vocabulary associated with time. For instance, many students in Kindergarten and first grade are learning vocabulary like noon, midnight, dawn, evening, etc. This book has each of these words illustrated through what animals are doing during those times and would help students to relate the time to the animals. Another option would be to create a circle on chart paper with the words noon, afternoon, etc. in place of the numbers on a clock. Then the younger students could draw the picture of the animal in the poem for that time on the chart. Students could then brainstorm other animals they might hear or see during that time and even compare what humans might be doing that same time.
  4. 4. Title: The New Adventures of Mother Goose (1993) • Created by: Bruce Lansky • Illustrator: Stephen Carpenter • Genre: Lyric Poetry • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This compilation of poems consists of newer versions of the classic Mother Goose rhymes written many years ago. Bruce Lansky took the original characters from the Mother Goose rhymes and changed the content just a bit to attract more modern age children to the poems. The classic characters like Little Boy Blue, Little Miss Muffet and Humpty Dumpty are all in the book, just doing things a little differently this time. Strategies: I love how this book is a newer version of the same old classics. Students would be more likely to enjoy these versions as opposed to the original versions of the rhymes. Younger students like PK or Kindergarteners would enjoy singing these rhymes to learn them. For older students, I think it would be fun for them to hear these newer rhymes without seeing any of the pictures. Then, have them pretend to be the illustrator for the poem and see what picture they would create to go along with the poem.
  5. 5. Title: The Owl and the Pussycat (1991) • Author: Edward Lear • Illustrator: Jan Brett • Genre: Narrative Poetry • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: Even though this is a poetry book located in the poetry section of the library, it is a love story about an owl and a cat. They are in love and travel out to the sea together. The owl plays her music and decides he wants to marry her. They then go looking for a ring that will fit and find it in the Piggy’s nose. They were married the next day by the Turkey on the hill and lived together forever. Strategies: I found this story to be quite strange due to the fact that an owl and cat are in love. I also found it funny that their pet is a fish. I would like to have a discussion with students about these issues to see if they can figure out why they seem so strange to me. I would also like to have students think about other options the owl would have with finding a gold ring for the cat. What other things in an all animal world could be used as a ring for the cat? With younger readers, it would also be a good book to talk about sequence. The students might put pictures of the story in correct sequence or even sentences from the story into the correct order.
  6. 6. Contemporary Realistic Fiction Title: The Bakery Lady (2001) • Author: Pat Mora • Illustrator: Pablo Torrecilla • Genre: Realistic Fiction • Format: picture book, with English and Spanish • Awards: No awards Summary: Monica and Gilbert are siblings and live upstairs above a bakery with their grandparents, Abuelo and Abuela. Monica’s Abuelo and Abuela own the bakery and they let Monica work in it with them. She loves to bake and wants to grow up to become a baker owning her own bakery. The story takes place during the time of Three Kings, which takes place on January 6th . For this celebration, the bakery makes Kings’ Rings for the customers with a hidden plastic, baby inside. Whoever finds the baby has to be the host of a huge party in February for family and friends. Monica ends up finding the baby in her piece of bread and has to rely on her family to help her prepare the cookies for her party. She learns the importance of family and friends and helping one another in good times and bad times. Strategies: We have quite a few Hispanics in our community and school and this would be a great story to use to talk about their culture and our culture. The students could compare and contrast our holidays with theirs using a T-chart. The students could also choose another important celebration in their culture and write about it in narrative form. Students in grades 3 and 5 are required to write narrative stories and how more appropriate could you get than having them write about something that their family celebrates. Another discussion topic that could come from this story is the importance of family and friends. Monica, the little girl in this story could not have pulled off the party she did without the help of her family. It would be a good discussion to have students think and talk about what they could or could not do without the help of their family.
  7. 7. Title: Blubber (1974) • Author: Judy Blume • Genre: Modern Fantasy • Format: chapter book • Awards: No awards Summary: This is a story of a group of fifth graders who go through a period of their lives experimenting with bullying. The story is told through Jill’s eyes, who is not necessarily the leader of the bullying, but she definitely does not stop it from taking place and even contributes. The group of girls starts the bullying of one girl named Linda Fischer whose nickname quickly becomes, “Blubber” due to her obesity. The type of bullying includes things like physically forcing Linda to kiss a shoe, kiss a boy and even having her skirt raised so the boys would have to see her underpants. However, toward the end of the story, Jill finds herself in a situation where she is no longer the person doing the bullying, but she becomes the victim. This occurs after she stands up to the so-called leader of the group and makes her angry. After Jill experiences this type of treatment, she realizes that true friendship like the kind she has with her neighbor Tracy is truly hard to come by. She also discovers that quiet people make good friends too. Strategies: The unfortunate thing about this book is that I found it sitting on a restricted shelf in the back of our library. I couldn’t believe we had books on a restricted shelf and more importantly that one of them was written by none other than Judy Blume. However, after reading the story I am beginning to see why there are some books that are just not appropriate for an elementary school. We have had some intensive bullying taking place in the next county over from our county and so the topic is really sensitive. However, I think this book could be used under strict supervision with certain groups of students within an elementary school. The counselor, who is usually in charge of dealing with bullies and those being bullied, could read this with the students and have rich discussions about wise decisions and bad decisions that the girls make throughout the story. This
  8. 8. book could even be a grade level book study to use with girls in fifth grade and charts could be made from the discussion topics chosen by the leader of the book study. For example, the girls could come up with a list of good qualities to look for in a friend, a list of things to do when being bullied, and even how to stop bullying someone. Title: The Lotus Seed (1993) • Author: Sherry Garland • Illustrator: Tatsuro Kiuchi • Genre: Realistic Fiction • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: This is a story that tells the history of Vietnam through the eyes of a granddaughter whose heard the story from her grandmother. The grandmother took a lotus seed from Vietnam to help her remember the day the last emperor of Southern Vietnam gave up his throne. She kept the seed wrapped in a piece of silk from her BLANK. It was the only thing she grabbed when her and her family boarded a small boat and escaped to the United States. The grandchildren ask the grandmother about the seed and she tells them what it represents and why it’s so important to her. However, one of the grandsons doesn’t understand the importance of it and takes it one day and plants it in the yard somewhere. The grandmother is terribly upset until one day a beautiful lotus flower blooms in the front yard. She then takes the flower and gives each grandchild one seed and keeps one for herself to remember her home. Strategies: This story talked about how one country, Vietnam, has gone through some rough times in their history. Many students in upper elementary grades are at the age when they can start learning about and understanding how our government works. However, many of them do not realize that other countries
  9. 9. have very different rules and governing bodies/individuals. This book would be good to show how other countries live and are ruled. It would be a great social studies book leading into talking about government. It would also be a good book to use with writing narratives again. Everyone usually has something in their past that has happened and they have something to help them remember what happened, like the grandmother and the lotus seed. Students could choose something that is important to them, write about why it’s important and even possibly have a short show and tell, if possible, to talk about the “something”. Title: Mama, Do You Love Me? (1991) • Author: Barbara M. Joosse • Illustrator: Barbara Lavallee • Genre: Realistic Fiction • Format: picture book • Awards: No awards Summary: A little Inuk, which is the native word for Eskimo, spends the entire story giving her mother scenarios of what the mother would do in different situations. The mother’s answer in just about every case was that she would still love her, or miss her or worry for her. Throughout this story of showing how great a mother’s love is, there are also many new Inuit words that many people are not familiar with. There is even a short glossary at the end of the book with a short history of the Inuit in Alaska. Strategies: This is such a sweet story portraying a mother’s love for her child. I think the younger students in Kindergarten and first grade would love this story. I would use this story around Mother’s Day and then have the students create a card for their mother to take home. Before I read the story, however, I would have a chart with pictures and definitions like the glossary in the back of the book
  10. 10. to help familiarize the students with some of the words that they would hear throughout the story. This story would also be neat to use for Social Studies with a fourth grade group of students. One of their standards has to do with Native Americans and learning about their cultures. It would be a neat writing and research assignment to have the students listen to this story and after having learned about Native Americans, have them write their own version of the story but call it something like, “Papa, Do You Love Me?” The students would incorporate some of the cultural words they learn about during their unit on Native Americans. Title: On My Honor (1986) • Author: Marion Dane Bauer • Genre: Realistic Fiction • Format: chapter book • Awards: Newberry Honor Book Award Summary: This is a story of two young boys who were born within a week of each other growing up as neighbors. The story takes place when the boys are 12 and the entire book covers 2 days only in their lives. Joel is the narrator and his friend his Tony. Joel pretty much has to do whatever Tony wants to do and Joel is fed up with this scenario. One day Tony decides he wants them to ride their bikes to the Starving Bluffs and climb the buffs. However, Joel, the more responsible one, does not want to go and asks his dad for persmission, knowing that his dad would definitely say no. Instead, surprisingly his dad agrees as long as Joel promises to go only to the Bluffs, which is an 8 mile ride and to be careful on the way. His dad makes Joel say, “On my honor” to let him know the promised will be kept. However, on the way, Tony changes his mind and practically forces Joel to go swimming in the Vermillion River, which is strictly forbidden in Joel’s household. The boys end up getting into an argument in the water due to Joel
  11. 11. being fed up with Tony’s demands, and the argument ends with a dare. Joel dared Tony to swim out to the sandbar in the middle of the river, not knowing that Tony could not swim. Joel makes it to the sandbar, but Tony never does and ends up drowning. The rest of the story involves Joel struggling with, “on my honor”, it being his fault and being mad at his dad for allowing him to go. Strategies: This book would definitely be used only with my fifth graders. I would introduce the book by having the students complete some activities about their best friend. Then, I would introduce students to a wiki and we would have a class wiki for this book’s discussion. After each chapter, there would be an online discussion that the students would be able to respond to at home or at school during their computer lab time. One reason for this type of book talk has to deal with the emotions that might come from some students while reading this book. I cried through the last 20 pages or so. Another strategy I would use with this book would deal with decision making. Many times fifth graders are at that age where they can choose to become a leader or a follower and Joel, in this story was definitely a follower while Tony was the leader. After reading the book, I think we could have a good discussion about how the ending might have been different if Joel had chosen to be a leader with his friend Tony. I think there could also be some discussion on the importance of friendship and we could make a list of qualities that would be good to have in a friend. This book definitely lends itself to some deep discussions that fifth graders need.

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