Category Archives: Read Alouds Grades 3-5

Review & teaching ideas for new book Seeds of Freedom

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The new trade book Seeds of Freedom (Bass, 2015, Candlewick Press) is a good fit for 4th-6th grade students because it’s complex and has content worthy of close reading and collaborative discussions. Bass, the author, does not just tell a straightforward narrative about what happened in Huntsville, AL; instead her narrative requires the reader to make inferences about what was going on. The way she presents the information requires the reader to think critically about what was going on. Bass uses the metaphor of planting and growing seeds of freedom–tapping into what these seeds need to grow. For example, she writes, “But the seeds of freedom need news to grow, so another plan is hatched.” From there she describes “Blue Jean Sunday” when the African Americans boycotted local businesses and wore denim for Easter in 1962. The way she tells it, though, the reader has to make an inference that this was the “hatched” plan and the reader also has to infer how this was “news” to grow the seeds of freedom. With her audience in mind, the author has provided just enough content for the reader to do this. She continues to build on this idea of “needing news to grow the seeds of freedom” throughout the book.

While the publisher has listed this book for k-3rd grade, I think the ideas are conceptually way too challenging for this age group. If you get a copy of it, you’ll also see right away that there’s a large amount of text on each page (not too much for a read aloud to older students, though) and some of the illustrations are abstract. The illustrations are also mature enough for this older group of students; the book doesn’t have a “primary” feel.

I’d do the following with intermediate (at least 4th) and higher students (through 6th) –
1) Read this book aloud during an integrated unit of study;
2) Read aloud the author’s notes and discuss;
3) Ask the students to read excerpts from this text closely with an essential question in mind for discussion and for writing in response. Examples of questions (some that could be used with multiple excerpts) include –

“How does the description of Blue Jean Sunday serve to support one of the author’s main ideas?”

“Explain how the author uses evidence to support the idea that ‘seeds of freedom need news to grow.'”

“What is the author’s perspective on the movement in Huntsville? What in the text makes you think so?”

“What role did perseverance (patience, compassion, etc.) play in this movement?”

Background knowledge about Jim Crow and segregation would be helpful in understanding this book, but students could also read this book at the beginning of a unit of study as a way to begin an inquiry project into this period. They could generate questions for research as they hear this read aloud a second time or as they read it with a partner. This would be a good opportunity to compare texts on the same topic – even just comparing one page of text from this book with a primary source (news article, photo, memoir, etc.). It would be interesting to research others’ perspectives on what the author calls “the peaceful integration of Huntsville, Alabama.” The metaphor “seeds of change” or “growing seeds of change” could serve as a frame for thinking about/reading about other events in the civil rights movement and how it took time and perseverance for change to occur.

One disappointment (but not a deal breaker) – I thought the metaphor of growing seeds of freedom was powerful and used well in the first half of the book. I like the growing versus planting – it increases the rigor of this text. I felt like the development of the metaphor was weak in the second half of the book, though. For several pages in the first part of the book, the metaphor remained at the seed stage. Then late in the book there is one page where the “tender plant of freedom” is mentioned; at the end of that page, I was confused when the author wrote, “Are the seeds of freedom wilting?” I was thinking it should have been “Are the tender plants of freedom wilting?” There is no other mention of the tender plant and then on the last page, the last sentence, after the schools of Huntsville have been integrated, the author writes, “to taste the sweet fruit homegrown from the seeds of freedom.” It felt like a leap given the heavy emphasis on the seeds earlier in the book. BUT why not have students go back and think about events that revealed the growth of tender plants and how they might have wilted at certain points and then how the fruit was growing and so forth? This could help students move forward in reading other texts on the same topic and using this metaphor.

If you know me, you know I LOVE books on this period of American History. If you want more information on books I’d recommend reading with students, visit my Goodreads bookshelves–I have a general shelf of books on the Civil Rights Movement (1950-1970) and then two additional shelves with “text sets” for 3rd and for 6th-8th grade.

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Okay…hope this helps.

S

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Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle – compare to other texts, use as a mentor text for writing

LOVE THIS NEW BOOK!!! So many possibilities for classroom instruction in grades 2-5.behold the beautiful dung beetle

Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle by Cheryl Bardoe (2014) is so well written and I had no idea how important dung beetles are to our environment…right up there with earthworms!!!

The book starts by drawing the reader in with the gross factor – “Somewhere in the world right now an animal is lightening its load–in your backyard, on a nearby farm, in a forest, on a grassland far away.” The content of the text includes descriptions of the three types of dung beetles – dwellers, rollers, and tunnelers. After introducing each type of beetle, Bardoe introduces a sub-topic–how they store the dung, how they fight over the dung, how they use the dung to lay their eggs and provide nourishment for grubs and so forth. Really interesting, thorough, coherent, clear. The illustrations clearly support the content in the words.

Read aloud this book to students in 2nd-5th grade. I think it has value for all of these grades – in being read aloud maybe more than once and then asking students to have collaborative conversations around specific questions and compose a written response together or independently. What is the main topic/main idea of this text? Why are dung beetles important to our world? (Common Core Reading Informational Text Standard 2) What is the author’s purpose in writing this book? (RI.7) How does this illustration clarify what the author has written? (RI.6) What makes this text enjoyable to read? (RI.10) What are you learning that you didn’t know before? (RI.1)

Put this in your classroom library. Give a book talk, read the first couple of pages. Share some of the illustrations on the document camera (if you have one) and then leave in the classroom library for students to read independently (caution – in 2nd grade – they’d have to be reading above grade level).

Provide opportunities to read and contrast with additional texts. Read aloud this book and then another about earthworms or dung beetles or give both to a small group to read and contrast – in collaborative conversations and in written responses (RI.9).  For example, Earthworms by Claire Llewellyn addresses some of the same sub-topics – how the earthworms use the soil for sustenance, how when the earthworms digest the soil, this contributes to health of the soil and so forth.

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OR you could have the students contrast the info in Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle with a website on dung beetles–there’s a free, short article at http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/dung-beetle/ that would work.

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As a writing mentor text, I really like the way this book is organized –

  • The initial hook draws the reader in with the gross factor and a common fact.
  • Three categories of beetles are briefly introduced
  • There are subtopics as far as the dimensions of their lives- how the beetles collect their dung, collecting the dung, laying their eggs and so forth. But instead of writing about one type of beetle on all of these sub-topics–the author writes about all three for each sub-topic–comparing and contrasting as she goes. Does that make sense? This is just more savvy than a five paragraph essay (yuck)!!! Below is a brief outline. I think you could use each part as a mentor text or unpack organization with students to they could think about for their own research writing.
    1. hook
    2. short narrative about how quick the dung beetles arrive on a real life piece of dung and explanation of why dung is so important to them
    3. introduction to three types of dung beetles – dweller, tunneler, roller,
    4. competition (as it relates to all three types of beetles)
    5. mating and stashing the eggs
    6. growth of grubs and hatching of young adults (author does not differentiate between three for this last sub-topic)
    7. close – with anecdote about why Ancient Egyptians worshiped the dung beetles
  • Each section is so well written – you could just use one paragraph to think about how to describe or explain a topic in the students’ writing.

Okay…hope this helps.

S

New Book – Accessible Intro to Microorganisms for 1st-3rd

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LOVE THIS BOOK. An accessible introduction to microbes for 1st through 3rd grade. Definitely read aloud to students, pausing for space to “oooo” and “aaah.” I’d even be tempted to use it with older students as an introduction to more complex texts on this topic. Davies, the author, talks to you, the reader, in a conversation-like tone, with clear descriptions and explanations and simple analogies. The pace is gentle, providing the reader time to absorb the ideas–in other words the text is not dense with a lot of facts like so many texts on this topic. I learned a tremendous amount–maybe as a result of the the pace, and the layout and design. The illustrations are magnificent, supporting the ideas in the text but also leaving some room for thinking on your own. You could read this aloud and then leave it in the classroom library for rereading.

Next Generation Science Standards – this could be used to as part of units that integrate the 2nd Grade Biological Evolution–Unity and Diversity standards and the 3rd Grade From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes standards.

Common Core Standards

  • First just enjoy the book with students! Read it aloud providing time for students to look closely at the illustrations and just wonder or be in awe of this amazing creature, the microbe.
  • Then–reread and think about the author’s main topic/idea–what is the author trying to tell us that’s important? There are tiny organisms everywhere. Some are bad, but most are good and have important roles in nature. Engage in shared writing of a main idea and then ask students to elaborate with illustrations and additional details. (RI 1.2, 2.2, 3.2)
  • Take time to look closely at one of the amazing illustrations – what does Emily Sutton do in one of these illustrations to contribute to and clarify the text? How do both the text and illustration convey a key idea? (RI 1.6, 1.7, 2.5, 2.7, 3.5) Copy one of the illustrations (once, for school-use only) and ask students to write their thoughts on a sticky note and then post the illustration and the sticky notes for all to view. You might do this for several pages or several books and make a display over time. You could also turn this into a reading response center.
  • Use this book as a mentor for writing – pull excerpts that describe, or excerpts with comparisons, engage in shared writing to “try out” what Davies does, and then coach students to try this in their own writing – on whatever topic they are studying.

This book is a gem. I didn’t want it to end.

New Book for Reading Aloud, Close Reading – Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

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Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (K. G. Davis, 2014)

This would make for a great read aloud in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade with opportunities for rereading excerpts of text to think critically about the author’s central ideas and purposes. The main part of the text is written as a narrative with the purpose of “telling the story of” how George Ferris endeavors to bring to life “an idea [for a structure at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair] that would dazzle and move.” In addition, many of the two-page layouts have a non-narrative caption (in bold and a different font) that provides background information pertinent to that point in the narrative. For example, when George’s idea is rejected by the construction chief of the fair, the narrator lets the reader in on George’s expertise on how to use a new metal –steel–and how this would make the moving wheel “strong.” The non-narrative caption for that page serves to build knowledge on this concept – steel, its strengths and George’s area of engineering expertise –

George was a steel expert, and his structure would be made of a steel alloy. Alloys combine a super-strong mix of a hard metal with two or more chemical elements. (no page #s)

This structure – the use of narrative to “tell the story of” and non-narrative to explain is worthy of exploration by students.

Actually, there’s a lot of potential for using this book in the classroom. If your 3rd or 5th grade class is studying motion and stability–Ferris’ engineering and what he must have considered in designing and building the wheel could be discussed.

And with the Common Core ELA Standards, there are opportunities to engage students in conversations (even student-led), close reading and conversation, and writing in response to the text. A few suggestions include –

  • Reading aloud the book (this might take two sessions) and asking students to turn and talk – just to discuss what has happened, to make meaning of what is going on. You might pose prompts along the way like, “What’s going on here that might be a problem?”
  • Using a gradual release to explore the role of captions in supporting the narrative – 1) modeling how one caption supports the text, 2) asking partners to explain how another caption serves to support the text, 3) asking individual students to tackle explaining a third caption and how it serves to support the text with conferring and coaching as needed.
  • Posing questions for critical thinking, conversation, and writing in response like
    • Why do you think the author wrote this book? What was his purpose? What in the text makes you think so?
    • How was George Ferris perseverant? In spite of obstacles, danger, and discouragement?
    • Do you think the author believes that this endeavor –George designing and building the Ferris Wheel–was unprecedented? Why do you think so? What is textual evidence to support your reasoning?

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Photo of the Ferris Wheel at Chicago World’s Fair

Okay…hope this helps!

S

 

 

Close Reading Lesson with Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

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All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine by Monica Kulling (2013)

Recently I had the pleasure of teaching demonstration lessons in several third grade classes. In one class, the students were immersed in a unit of study with the essential question “How can learning help us grow?” The text for the lesson was All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine from the Wonders curriculum; this story is also available as a paperback on Amazon.

In this district, Wonders is a source for the teachers, but they are not mandated to follow the teacher’s (essentially scripted) guide; instead they are encouraged to use it consistently as a resource for concepts and strategies to teach and texts to use. While many of the texts  included in this basal system are decent or even pretty good, the Wonders approach to “close reading” is too broad for me. The directions for this text (and others) were to engage in a close reading of the whole story. This is too long a text for close reading when we want students to read and reread a text. Also he essential question that is posed for close reading of this text – “How can problem solving lead to new ideas?” — is actually quite difficult. When you look for the answer to this question in the teacher’s guide, the guide states –

How can problem solving lead to new ideas? Explain that problem solving leads to new ideas and that the solution, or answer, to the problem might be an invention.

The authors of Wonders have not answered the question here.

And yet, Wonders as a source has a lot of potential here – with this text in this unit of study with a focus on “How can learning help us grow?” The third grade teacher and I decided to rewrite the question for close reading and choose a short excerpt from the text for close reading. We thought it would be pretty easy for the students to identify Elijah’s problem – oiling the engine was dangerous and a constant hassle.  Instead we read through this biographical narrative, thinking about where the problem solving happened or was described by the author. We identified two pages (my study notes are below) that revealed how Elijah solved the problem–he developed a metal cup that would serve to oil the train’s engine. Just within two pages of text, there were many difficult ideas–his mind sparked with ideas, he made a model, he applied for a patent. A close reading of this excerpt seemed rigorous and yet appropriate for this whole class lesson.

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Before the lesson, the teacher read aloud the whole story to the students (early in the day) and they discussed the text in general. For the lesson, I posted the question “How does Elijah solve his problem?” with the definition of solve in a different color marker. (I didn’t want to take for granted that the students would have a solid understanding of what “solve” means.) The blue printed words “do action” were added during the lesson. This question supports the larger unit question of “How can learning help us grow?” In other words, by answering this question, in a later lesson, the teacher can pose the question, “So how did what Elijah learned help him grow as a person?” The posted question was our purpose for reading and drove our decisions about what words to underline and what annotations to write–I referred to it continuously throughout the lesson. It’s like a lifeline for some readers–providing focus and direction.

close reading question Elijah

The text was projected for all students to view – using the document camera and each student had a copy of these two pages. (That’s a flaw in the Wonders curriculum – students are not asked to annotate the text. This is easy to fix!!!!) During the lesson, I gradually released. We started out thinking about the question as we read, annotating together – I annotated on the text on the document camera and they annotated on their copy of the text. Then I released responsibility–giving them the reins to read and annotate, with the question “How does Elijah solve his problem?” in mind. I moved around and conferred with individuals and small groups. Some students needed a lot of support. Others were ready to fly. At the end I asked the students to write an answer to the question on a sticky note–a manageable amount of writing in just a few minutes. Our assessment of their responses afterwards revealed that every learner–striving and flying–was able to access the text and gained something from this lesson. Some of the students wrote responses with a conceptually easier idea — Elijah made a model; while others grappled with the idea of applying for a patent (which the teacher had discussed during the read aloud).

This teacher also meets with small guided reading groups–which is critical. The whole group lesson lasted about 25 minutes. For students who needed more support, she could easily return to this text in small groups (if it’s an appropriate instructional level). This lesson with the whole group establishes identity as a community of readers–that all of us can make meaning with a grade level text. Not every comprehension lesson should be whole group like this – maybe 25 minutes a day. The students still need guided reading and independent reading and so forth.

Okay…hope this helps.

S

Thoughts – CC Appendix B Exemplar Grades 2-3 Read Aloud Informational Txts

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Below are thoughts – including notes of caution & outright rejections – on the “exemplars” listed in Common Core Appendix B for Grades 2-3 Read Aloud Informational Texts. At the bottom is a link to a PDF with more extensive notes about the texts’ topics, central ideas, structure and coherence.

IMPORTANT to remember about exemplar texts –

  • The authors of the Common Core only share very general guidelines they used to choose these texts – educators in the field “have used successfully with students in a given grade band” and “qualitative and quantitative measures” that indicated the texts were of “sufficient complexity” for this grade band, “texts of recognized value” and “as broad a range of high-quality texts as possible.” (CCSS, Appendix B, page 2) As I have complained in a past blog – I don’t think the authors of the CC took into consideration the 5 A’s of good informational texts – authority, accuracy, appeal, artistry, and appropriateness for audience.
  • This list is not complete and the texts only serve as examples in “helping educators selects texts of similar complexity, quality and range.” (CCSS, Appendix B, page 2)

My synopsis –

  • In general, a decent range of texts as far as complexity – but not as far as range of appropriate topics and informational text structures for grades 2-3.
  • The quality of these texts is hit or miss. (See attached notes.)
  • I would reject the following titles as exemplars for grades 2-3 reading aloud –
    REJECTED – POORLY WRITTEN- The Museum Book: A Guide to Strange & Wonderful Collections by Jan Mark – poorly written, lacks coherence, not appropriate for these grades (see linked notes for more details).

REJECTED – TOO EASY – The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles – I know this is a classic, but, in addition to being dated as far as accuracy and authority,  I think it’s way too easy for 2nd/3rd grade listeners. ALTERNATIVE TITLES AS EXEMPLARS –  My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King by C. King Farris (2nd grade) and Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (3rd grade)

REJECTED – AS READ ALOUD – too hard for students to see imagesAh, Music! by Aliki. There are too many small illustrations for this to be a good read aloud – to a traditionally large group of students. Even putting the text on the document camera – there is just too much going on – on each page. You want to avoid using these kinds of books – “illustrated guides” as texts for reading aloud. Not a good example.

  • I would PROCEED WITH CAUTION when considering these next three texts as exemplars. This means I would absolutely read aloud texts like these to students – but not in a traditional read aloud way. You know how we pick up a good book to read aloud to students before lunch or at the end of the day? I think the authors of the CC had “instruction” with these texts in mind. See my blog on reading aloud Freedman’s Lincoln: A Photobiography for more of what I mean. PROCEED WITH CAUTION – Lincoln: A Photobiography by Freedman; If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People  by David J. Smith; What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio.
  • Actually…those I haven’t rejected would be best experienced as part of an integrated unit of study. All of the texts require some kind of student background knowledge (see my attached notes in PDF link below AGAIN :)) that would make it easier for students to get the fullest amount of information/learning during the read aloud experience.

Okay…more to come. I’m working my way through all of the exemplars as part of my next book…hoping to have better set of exemplars to recommend in general somewhere along the way. Remember – see PDF link below :).

Appendix B 2-3 read aloud chart

The Mighty Mars Rovers – Close Reading Lesson

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If you’re exploring the new Next Generation Science Standards and wondering how to get started, I’d start by reading this book aloud to your students. The standards have added “engineering and technology” to the landscape of science instruction and the authors have shifted from “methods” to “practice” in their descriptions of what scientists and engineers do – in an effort to help students understand how knowledge develops. The Mighty Mars Rovers, which has won numerous awards – reveals the cross section of engineering and science and readers can’t help but notice that diligent everyday practice is what helps the team members develop knowledge.

I was amazed to find out what we can do to learn about Mars, millions of miles away, through these robotic creatures. Powered by solar panels, these rovers drove for miles and miles, down into craters, over craggy rocks, sampling the rocks and soil along the way and taking stunning photos. The team that directed the rovers had to practice an amazing amount of patience – sometimes only moving the rovers a few inches a day as they checked out the terrain and made decisions about what the rovers could handle. Rusch’s writing, layout and design make the content accessible to our intermediate and middle grade readers.

This book would read aloud well – or you could book talk it and leave it in the classroom library to be grabbed up. If you did read aloud – sections or the whole text – there are excerpts that you could use during a close reading lesson – excerpts that reveal the intensity and effectiveness of the team’s practice. Perseverance and tenacity are good words to describe their work as well. Page 55 could be a good excerpt to read closely – the rover Opportunity is stuck. The team engages in inquiry – asking questions, creating a replica of the terrain to try out different moves with another rover. This all takes days and days. This short excerpt reveals the intensity of their team work and how knowledge is developed as a result. It could serve as a way to think about the rest of the book.

Exciting stuff!

Frog Song – TINKTINKTINKTINK! – read aloud, close read, research mentor

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Stunning illustrations and tightly focused text make the new book Frog Song (Guiberson, 2013) an ideal read aloud and independent read for k-5 students. On each two-page layout, Guiberson, the author of many many nonfiction books, describes the characteristics of a particular frog including –

  • in varied bold fonts, the frog’s sound (TINKTINKTINKTINK! the male midwife toad of Spain “clangs”),
  • how a frog takes care of the eggs (in Ecuador, the Surnam toad carries eggs in the skin on its back),
  • the role of moisture in the frog’s life or the moisture in the frog’s habitat (in Borneo, the four-lined tree frog “stirs up a foamy next to keep the eggs moist”)

The main idea of this book is that if the sound of frogs is absent from a habitat, there may be environmental problems. In the author’s note, Guiberson notes that 1/3 of the world’s frogs are “struggling to survive.”

There’s an additional two-page layout at the end of the book with a small picture of each frog featured and more details like the frog’s length.

I was surprised though – that with such a focus on the sound of the frog, Guiberson did not include details about how she researched the sounds of these frogs and determined an onomatopoeia for each – so I emailed her and she responded!

Clearly, Guiberson’s research process can be a model for our students.

  • To figure out how to write about the sounds, Guiberson relied on audio recordings of frogs she could not go hear for herself. Some of the links to these recordings are listed at the end of the book under “Frog Facts Online.” So for example, if you want your students to hear the wood frog featured in the book, here’s a link http://allaboutfrogs.org/weird/general/songs.html with an audio clip of the wood frog and several others.
  • For accuracy, Guiberson found “three agreeing sources to verify the information.”
  • She also found it helpful to know the scientific name of the frog (the Scarlet-sided pobblebonk is Limnodynastes terraereginae) and to search for links with this name for more scientific sources.
  • In addition, she looked for how others have spelled and described the sounds of these frogs.

There’s so much potential here for our students’ writing! Frog Song can serve as a mentor –

  • for the research process,
  • for writing tightly focused research with details that clearly support a central idea,
  • for refreshing use of language (word choice)  (toads clang, belt out, sing, zap, rattle their songs).

The latter two points are also good purposes for doing some close reading, writing in response to reading, and then thinking about students’ own writing and possible revisions.

And I’m neglecting to get into the beautiful illustrations by Gennady Spirin and how they serve to support the content of the text! Oh, the places we could go!

Mentor text for narrative nonfiction writing

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New narrative nonfiction that can be used as a mentor text for research and writing. Hoop Genius is a narrative about how basketball came to be – a gym teacher was trying to figure out how to engage a rambunctious group of young men in athletics indoors without harming each other. In simple prose, Coy tells the story of James Naismith who was trying to solve a problem. Many athletic sports in 1891 (soccer, football, etc) were not appropriate for indoors so he came up with the idea (and rules) for a basketball game. The baskets were peach baskets. The layout of the text is simple with 1-4 sentences on each page and the illustrations are dramatic, calling attention to the problems that Naismith confronted in helping these young men harness their energy. Actually, the illustrations are part of the flow of the text in that they give information that the text leaves out. For example, Naismith tries lacrosse with the young men and then stops the game. There is no text about why he stopped the game. You only know that the game was a disaster by examining the illustrations. There is an author’s note at the end which details how he interviewed numerous people and went to visit Naismith sites in Almonte, Ontario and museums and archives to gather more information. The end papers of the book are the original types rules for the game with Naismith’s handwritten signature – a great primary source.

My only caution with this book is that students might be confused by how grown up the “gym class” looks – there are players with mustaches. I’m inferring from the author’s notes that this was a class at the YMCA – not in a public school and therefore the “students” could have been young adults.  Not problem enough to deter me from sharing this with students. I just might need to explain.

What struck me as I read and examined this text was its potential as a mentor text for writing nonfiction narratives in the intermediate grades. A few thoughts:

  • The lead sentence could be put on the doc camera – “In December of 1891, James Naismith, a young teacher, took over a rowdy gym class that had already forced two teachers to quit.” A discussion might take place about how this statement includes the date, the name of the main person in the narrative, and the problem – but all put together in a way that draws the reader in and makes someone want to read on.
  • The voice of the narrative is active versus passive.
  • There are key phrases that indicate sequence of timethat night, the next morning, soon. You could share these with students and ask them to revise their pieces to include…
  • Word choice could be examined. For example, you could list the language describing the actions of the young men – tossed, jumped, holding, pushing, tripping, launched…
  • The ending could be discussed – not only how the game was successful (with some practice), but how the game took off and jumping forward from that short period to decades later when Naismith was recognized for his invention at the Olympic Games in 1936.

This could also be a mentor text for research – discussing the author’s note and all of the resources he consulted. This might lead into listing resources the students might use including people they might interview. (This is after they’ve identified their topic, of course.)

AND I love the endpapers being a primary source. This could be used as a way to introduce students to incorporating primary sources into their research papers – even into the layout and design of their papers.

The illustrations– I’m not an artist, but there’s something about Morse’s choice of color palette (blues, purples, black) and the sketch-like quality and the role of the illustrations in bringing the text to life. I think there are some students who could grapple with this and apply their learning to drafts and final product.

Okay…any thoughts?

List of nonfiction read alouds mentioned in my book!

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See attached list of nonfiction books I recommend for reading aloud – exemplars. Also, you can friend me on goodreads where I have a bookshelf for nonfiction read alouds in k-3 and 4-8. This is the list I mention in my book!

sunday’s nonfiction book list