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!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of starting the discussion with the question: what/who makes you who you are? I agree that in discussing the people/experiences/daily lives/things/goals/etc. that make them who they are, students will find the later conversations surrounding grammar that much more meaningful and interesting.