Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Signing Off for the Summer Break

The end of school year is always an exciting event. I am very happy to be over with all that and move on to Summer. I will be traveling and looking for books I can share with you here. So to all of you,happy, fun and peaceful one! We'll see you in Septemer!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Disappearing Alphabet By: Richard Wilbur

Click on the title to see this book.

Nancy Willard praises The Disappearing Alphabet " To put Richard Wilbur's rib-tickling verses into the hands of children is to give them a love of language that only the best poetry can isnpire. The nonsense and the rhymes in The Disappearing Alphabet is irresistible."

Alison Laurie says "This original and delightful new alphabet book should appeal not only to children but to everyone who loves words."

Have you seen this book before? This is the kind of book I pay hard cover price for. I love this book! The author shares his witty ideas in poem form about what would happen if we didn't have letters. How would our words look like without the "E"? Would we call lphant? or big boy? What about no V? How would we call "'V' formation"? Without the "M", well, you get the idea. It's just fantastic!

This alphabet book is not for beginner students. It is not for the very young, although you know your students better than I do, I haven't used with little ones but, with primary grades groups; older children who don't like the idea to read and "alphabet book" at first, but once they hear the first couple of poems they are hooked. This is a book you can use for tons of reasons. My favorite is for reviewing sounds. Discussing about them in a fresh and new way. Talking about how would a word sound without a letter sound is quite funny too, so it's a win-win situation.

This book provides a great playground for vocabualary analysis, just words, talking about words, how do you spell them how you don't spell them, what do they mean? If you like words, you'll love reading this book, furthermore, you'll help your students see how cool it is to carefully look at words.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Little Prickles

Little Prickles is a porcupine that longs to have friends. When his classmates cautiously commented about his quils, he became sad and grumpy. He would not want to play with others because he was too prickly! He hated his quils even though deep inside him, he knew they made him who he was. One day at school, the teacher explained the best way to write well, was to have a sharp and thin stick. Little Prickles eager to make friends, decided to give away his quils until his beautiful pink skin looked like a tasty dinner. What would he do now that his natural protection was gone?

This is a wonderful book for many reasons. It is a "Kids are Authors Award" winner; it's written and illustrated by children. It has very nice sentence patterns that help introduce new vocabulary beautifully complimented by the great illustrations. The story deals with the issues of Friendship, Self-Confidence and Identity; something most immigrant students or bicultural students deal with at some point in their lives - we all do for that matter. Reading this book will take you to many directions. A carefully crafted goal will assure your success not only in the lesson at hand, but in the future use of this same text. I love the fact that I can use it as a book to teach topics like animals (nouns), or adjectives and adverbs. I can talk about literary elements, (story problem) or children as writers. Also, it's a great book to go straight to the point and talk about identity. What makes you who you are?

I like to start with the latter, because that way, the deep insights and conversations are dealth with to start with. In the next ocassion, we can focus on the grammar elements this book richly provides. It's a great ELL classroom nugget!
It's a great book for the beginning of the school year too!

I'd love to hear what your experiences are using this book with your students!