On Friday, November 1, at 3:30 p.m., Judith Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones books as well as her new book, Bits & Pieces, will be speaking at Pages, our local independent bookstore.
Grade 4 will hear a new book this week, Aesop in California, by Doug Hansen. We will see if we can figure out the "moral" each fable is meant to illustrate. Grade 5 will be looking at an older book, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, by Mordecai Gerstein. This book, winner of the Caldecott Medal in 2004, is set on the World Trade Center towers before the attacks of September 11. (Gerstein's Caldecott acceptance speech can be read on his website.) This book is in preparation for a discussion in two weeks of 14 Cows for America, by Carmen Agra Deedy, which also concerns the events of September 11.
Not surprisingly, though, Halloween is the topic during library time for many grades this week. TK/K will be hearing Halloween books that rhyme, as the students are working on recognizing and coming up with rhyming words. To Grade 2 I will be reading Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, which is a humorous retelling of Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans. Grade 3 is hearing How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? in which characters preparing to carve pumpkins use multiplication concepts to count the number of seeds in each pumpkin. Whether or not our readalouds relate to specific curricular topics, classes have an opportunity during library time to practice literary response skills such as recognizing plot and characters, summarizing content, identifying theme, comparing and contrasting stories, relating texts to personal experience, and reacting to each others' comments. Such discussion can take place at home, too: talking with your students about what they are reading or hearing read aloud allows them to practice key skills and, I hope, will be fun and interesting for both you and your child.
Speaking of fun, below please find a spooky library clip--happy Halloween! (Thanks to Yukari Matsuyama, former library media specialist at Robinson Elementary, for the idea.)