Kindergarteners are finishing up a unit on author/illustrator, Mo Willems. We have read some books from the Elephant & Piggie series, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and are currently reading the Knuffle Bunny series. Students learned how to draw a Mo Willems-style pigeon and are drawing connections between Trixie's losing her Knuffle Bunny and their own lives.
Second graders are learning about fables and their three main characteristics - short, animals, teach a lesson. We read the Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney and also watched a video version to compare and contrast. This week we read The Boy Who Cried Wolf and the Baboon's Umbrella and completed an assessment to gauge students' understanding of the fable's characteristics. Students at this age are full of ideas for what they think the author's lesson is. I've been telling them that there is really no right or wrong answer to this, but that sometimes the author's intended lesson is different from their own.
Students in 3rd grade began using the online catalog for the first time. We are learning how to do an online search, participate in the MyQuest book club, and write a book review on Destiny. In a few months, we will begin our illustrator study which will include illustrators and biography picture books.
Fourth graders are doing a Mac Barnett author study. Although Mac Barnett is not an illustrator, he partners with many famous illustrators. We are comparing and contrasting the illustrators' styles and trying to put our finger on Mac Barnett's writing style. Next week, students will get text from a Mac Barnett book and illustrate it. We will compare how students' drawings differ from each other. More of this to come in a future blog post!
Fifth graders are beginning a unit on Coretta Scott King Award Illustrators. I chose six past honor/winner Coretta Scott Award books that we will read in class. Students have to evaluate the books based on the actual criteria used to grant the award. There are several categories of winners, but we will be focusing on the illustration category. Our first books was Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Kathryn Russel-Brown. Students voted to keep that one on our list for the final round. More of this to come in a future blog post!