Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Poetry and Gratitude: #classroombookaday week 4

We started our first book club of the year this week, so we did not share a read aloud on our discussion day. This first round of book clubs focuses on realistic fiction texts. One class is reading Hatchet, while the other chose between Hello Universe, Takedown, Front Desk, The First Rule of Punk, and Walk Two MoonsYou can read all my previous book club posts here, including book reviews, how to run book clubs, and great discussion questions.

Poetry and Gratitude

Our books this week continued last week's theme of poetry but also expanded on the ideas of gratitude and kindness.

The Word Collector (2018) by Peter H. Reynolds. This book is a natural fit with our poetry-writing unit, as Jerome's love of words (and one small accident) leads to his discovery of poetry and the fun and joy of putting just the right words together. One of my groups also focused on Jerome's decision to share his words with others (literally and metaphorically) and how that was also an act of kindness.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (2018) by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frane Lessac. This picture book about Cherokee celebrations of the seasons reads like a poem to me. Before reading aloud the book, I shared the book trailer, here, from the author's website, as it includes pronunciations of the title and all four seasons.

This book is great for smashing misconceptions about Native American peoples. Midway through sharing in the first class a student asked, "When does this book take place?" When I responded, "Now," he followed up with, "Wait, so does that mean they have like, computers and stuff?" which opened the door for an informative digression about the lives - and existence - of Native peoples today. My Wisconsin students could only name two of the eleven registered tribes in our state (and only then because they operate casinos). I also showed them Google maps images of how you can see the Menominee Reservation clearly because of their different forest management practices (it's a sharp green rectangle).

Be Kind (2018) by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill. Our final book of the week hits directly on the idea of kindness while balancing how helpless we can sometimes feel about helping with the idea that even small acts of kindness add up to something more.

What books have you been sharing lately? Click here for all of our #classroombookaday posts.


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