Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Falling Into A Good Book

In The Library

Fall Books & How I Use Them

Happy fall!  Football games, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and the crispness in the air fall makes me happy.  We created a fall bucket list and shared some of the things we most look forward to, in the fall. This is always a highlight for me. 
We also shared the life cycle of the pumpkin last week. I love sharing the video and the book Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson it starts October and our fall season. As we approach our trip to the pumpkin patch, reinforcing our understanding of fiction and non-ficition, our "How To Carve A Pumpkin" writing, along with our anchor chart pumpkins inside and outside, using adjectives.

I also, love getting out books about the season with my students. I want to foster a love of reading with them. How reading is more than just words on a page. It offers a different approach to the goals we are working on; vocabulary, figurative language, sequencing, etc. For some of our young students here at Kennedy this helps them build on their developing vocabulary and their ability to communicate more effectively.
Here are 2 wonderful stories for the changing season that I like using in my Library.
LeafMan by Lois Ehlert
This is a very short, beautifully illustrated picture book. It captures the vivid changing colors of the leaves of fall. Great opportunities for fall craft extensions here.
 One of my students brought this leaf man in after we shared the story.

Sequencing: Discuss the order of leaf man’s travels. East-West-South-North. Name what he saw heading east (chickens, marsh, ducks, geese, fields). Then what he saw heading west (orchards, prairie meadows, cows) and so on.

Vocabulary: pile, plans, marsh, drifting, orchards, prairie, meadows, gliding, flock, lonesome, rustle.
Writing: Use the prompt, “If I were a leaf man, I would go” (have them include what they would see and feel along the way).
Compare and contrast: The different types of leaves by shape, size, color etc. Have the students bring in 2 or 3 different leaves from home and discuss the differences and similarities.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson 
Gorgeous watercolor illustrations capture you in this sweet story. When I read this treasure, children are mesmerized and almost melt listening to the words. This story about a sweet little fox is one of my favorites to use during the fall season.

Social/Emotional: Opportunities to discuss feelings. On the first page the word “worried” is used. When do people feel worried? Illness, bad weather, etc. Fletcher is trying to care for the tree- a great opportunity for teaching empathy (discuss his body language- how his head hangs down and how they can read body language with friends). Encourage your students or child to talk about who they take care of and how (a pet, friend who is sad). Friendship Fletcher says he will stay with the tree holding on to the last leaf left (what does someone do to show friendship to others).
Adjectives: Wow, this book is filled with vivid descriptions. “crinkly whisper,” “dusty gold,” “swirling leaves,” “pale stars,” I could go on and on. Write down some fall nouns and have your students think of vivid adjectives to modify them ( _____ pumpkins, _____ trees, _____ weather). Thinking of alternative color words is relevant in the fall. Find some leaves and challenge them to describe with more meaningful color words: yellow (golden), red (scarlet), brown (chocolate).
Vocabulary words: bounded, crinkly, dull, rough, ruffled, flutter, rustle, swoop, pale, glimmer. I always work on synonyms and antonyms to develop vocabulary deeper.
Figurative language:  personification is on nearly every page- “I think my tree is sick.” “The little leaf shook itself free” “The wind and the squirrel are stealing our leaves.” “The branches nodded.” “The leaves shivered and shook

I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas as you read books about fall!

Me and my family

My family went to the pumpkin patch with our grand kids and  had a wonderful time. I love watching the grands experience something for the first time and or share these moments with them. Here are a few pics...

What I'm reading

The weather here in Kansas has been simply amazing and I love being able to read on my porch or patio. My latest, most current book I'm reading is Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand. It is the third installment to the Winter Street  series and it has to be said that I love it! If you are looking for a warm, cozy page turner this fall/ winter season this series will not disappoint.

I'm also listening to the audio book of The One Who Got Away by Leigh Himes
 I had to pick this chic lit audio book up, I read the blurb below and knew I had to try out this new author's work.
Book Blurb:
 In this debut novel, a freak accident allows a wife and mother to explore the alluring alternative of the Road Not Taken.

Abbey Lahey is a married, harried working mother of two, struggling to make ends meet in a blue-collar suburb of Philadelphia. When a freak tumble down a Nordstrom escalator lands her in an alternate reality, Abbey finds herself happily married to the one who got away--a dashing Philly blueblood she met briefly years earlier--and living a Cinderella life of privilege and luxury.

It's everything Abbey ever dreamed of. Or is it? At first dazzled by the clothes, the penthouse, the nannies, and the glittering social functions, Abbey begins noticing troubling flaws in her new fourteen-carat life...and wonders what happened to the people she left behind. Torn between two vastly different realities, Abbey takes increasingly dramatic steps to reclaim herself--whoever that may be.

Happy Fall and Happy Reading!

Mrs. Shamhart