Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ok, I Am Going!

I know I had said it would be pigs sneezing, but one of the twins "loaned" the book out -- so we are looking at his latest, "I Am Going!"

Again, all the punctuation, etc. that I mentioned earlier can be taught in this one...


In this one, Gerald is putting on a dramatic scene like no other before. You can talk about his sincere worry about Piggie "going" and how he doesn't want her to leave.

You can teach concepts of tomorrow, week, month, and year.

You can use lunchtime to introduce compound words.

You can talk about the fun things G and P do together as friends and what they do with their friends.

At the end, you can talk about the concept of sharing.

You can also mention how, without giving time for someone to give you all the information, you may send yourself into an unnecessary fit. (Which young children are known to do from time to time).

Ok, I am going to bonus you with another one of my faves, "I Love My New Toy!"

Saying Sorry/Forgiving Others
Friendship over Possessions

In this piece, you can preface the time together talking about how they feel when they have gotten a new toy. They will easily connect with Piggie in the joy of having something new.

Later, Gerald accidentally breaks it --you have to turn the book sideways to show how high it went...discuss why Mo Willems did that -- and then talk about the situation, the sadness, anger, blame, shame of it...talk about how they handle their feelings themselves and with each other.

It takes an outsider to show them both that the toy is actually intended to "Break and Snap" so now embarrassed Piggie has to backpedal on his anger towards Gerald. There is a dark cloud spiral above their heads...you can explain "disgust" and why.

In the end, Piggie and Gerald are seen running off in the distance -- explain how they are drawn smaller to show they are far away, and the toy is left, abandoned in the forefront. Talk about how they chose each other and why.

You may think these seem really obvious and simple. Yet when we are looking at young kids, new readers or struggling ones, this is exactly what we need to be teaching them.

Kids who are struggling can't pick these themes or a main idea, they can't examine character with grade level material. Why? There are a host of reasons why, but here's what I am thinking about these books.

They love them. It's easier to grasp the ideas. They get practice at it. They get good at it. They build confidence. They begin to see how it goes with tougher material...voila!

I think we beat our heads (and theirs) unnecessarily trying to do this kind of work with too difficult level of text.

If you are doing this will your young readers - they will be FABULOUS at it as they grow. Yea!

Ok, now I have to hunt down my "Sneeze" book -- or just buy another on Thursday.

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