In a way, this book is a very sad book for adults. A single father grows old, his children grow up and move far away. He finally moves to be near them in hopes of seeing them occasionally. No one buys the house. It begins to deteriorate, is vandalized, and abandoned.
Conflict: Man Vs. Environment: When the house is left alone, nature takes over.
Text-to-Self Connection: playing outside around neighborhood
Text-to-Text Connection: The Good Brown Earth by Kathy Henderson
Cause and Effect: Because the man worked to keep his lawn and house in good repair, the effect is that the lawn and house stayed weed and tree free and in good shape
Because the man moved away and the house was left with nature, the effect is that nature took over the house.
Synthesis: When left alone, a piece of land is changed by nature. The wind and seeds do what nature does as time passes. The earth renews itself.
Informational Literature: much factual information about the function of the heart is included. Information about foods, exercise, and the function of the parts of the heart are included in the story.
Personification: Henry’s heart is depicted with some human features with eyes a mouth and feelings.
Henry falls in love with a puppy. We finally have an author who thinks about the chaos that is caused by a nude body part and includes a fig leaf to cover that part in the illustration of Henry’s body. This would be a fun book to read around Valentine’s Day.
Cause and Effect: Henry’s heart is effected by the different causes that occur in the story. His heart reacts to the different stimuli with a fast or slow beat.
Drawing Conclusions and Inferring: What do you conclude Henry has fallen in love with when you read the description of the “girl?”
Text-to-text connections: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Cause and Effect: Because Ben was talking on the phone during a storm, the effect was that Ben lost his hearing when lightning struck the phone line.
Characterization: List Ben’s traits: curious, smart, brave to travel alone, good speller and writer, uses any resource available, resourceful for eating food left by others. How are the character traits of Ben and his mother alike?
Drawing Conclusions: Practice drawing conclusions as you read the pictures for Rose’s story. Inference is used to draw the conclusions.
Point of View: author’s: third person, character’s: Ben and Rose
Summarizing: Summarize Rose’s early life up to when she meets Ben
Mental Image: Can you make a mental image of the wolves chasing Ben? Check out the wolves’ diorama from the AMNH in New York City.
Text-to-Text Connection: Turkey Bowl by Phil Bildner also takes place many years ago.
In this full color picture book, the author shares the story of Roy Riegels as historical fiction. The real life lesson is that we all make mistakes, but we shouldn’t let a mistake destroy our ability to move forward and achieve in the future. The story tells how Roy continued to be great athlete and a successful businessman and did not let his big mistake and label of “wrong-way Riegels” color his future in a negative way.
Author’s purpose and Point of View: Written in third person, the author tells the real life story of Roy Riegels.
Cause and Effect: Because Roy ran the wrong way, the effect was that his team lost their big game.
Drawing Conclusions: We can draw the conclusion that Roy did not let his mistake ruin his life because he continued to be successful.
Text-to-Text Connection: Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
Cause and Effect: Because X changed his mind, the effect is the alphabet stayed the same.
Drawing Conclusions: The letters draw the conclusion that each letter has an important part to play when they begin exploring the roles of each other.
X is the narrator of the story written from a third person POV. Students will relate to the story about X and how he wasn’t happy wear he stood in the alphabet. The author explores the role of each letter and the important parts they each play. The confusion of spelling with the “i before e except after c” rule as well as plural words that change f to v as in calf and calves make the other letter realize that all of them have a certain and necessary role to play. The illustrations are very colorful and the book is in a graphic novel format with large text.
Summary: Charlie Joe received books as his birthday present when he was only young child and was so disappointed that he developed a very strong distaste for reading. He schemes, plans, connives, bribes, and experiments in every way he can think of to get out of reading. He worries, gets punished by losing his phone, computer, and everything he enjoys for his lack of reading. Charlie Joe is in middle school. Between the reading problems, Charlie Joe is shocked by the relationships and cliques that are developing in his school. His parents are embarrassed by him, and his teachers are disappointed in him, but Charlie Joe likes himself and is optimistic. His final stand at getting out of reading involves him launching a social experiment to get kids from opposite cliques to like and hang out with each other.
Cause and Effect: Because Charlie Joe will not read his own books, the effect is that he suffers many consequences.
Voice: Charlie’s voice permeates the book.
The book is formatted with many short chapters and short lists.
Text-to-Text connection with The Diary of the Wimpy Kid series in storyline as well as art work.
Author’s POV: The book is written in first person.
Text-to-Self connections: brothers, helping parents with work
Metaphor and similes: bus crawling as slowly as a caterpillar, leaves compared to boats, bus sleeping through the winter like a bear after tourist season is over, tree limbs like brooms sweeping the clouds away
Cause and Effect: Because the seasons change, the effect is that the tourist season ends.
Drawing Conclusions: Can you draw the conclusion that the boys have changed the way they view the “peepers” at the end of the season as they view the sky? Yes, they are embarrassed that they are in awe of the stars and the sky the way the tourist are in awe of the beautiful fall colors.
Math: The boys are standing by the water and the illustration is showing their reflection in the water.
Text-to-Self Connections: Choosing a pet, getting a pet that causes problems
Text-to-Text Connections: What Pet to Get by Emma Dodd
Author’s purpose: The main reason the author wrote the book could be to show students the process of choosing the right pet, and also, how an author has to follow certain steps and procedures to get a book published.
Sequencing: Students could sequence the steps Miss Wright takes in choosing her pet.
Cause and Effect: Because the bird imitates the sound of the keys, the effect is Miss Wright returns him, etc.