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.
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.
Author’s purpose: to share African American history
Author’s Point of View: 3rd person omniscient as we see the story from more than one character’s point of view
Cause and Effect: Because Henry’s family was sold, the effect was that Henry went to the extreme of mailing himself to escape the sorrow of slavery.
Characterize Henry: hard working, good listener, loving, strong
Mental Images: Henry imagined the carts carrying away his family and all that he loved every night.
Drawing Conclusions: Henry knew that the mail was delivered everywhere. He thought he could stand being in a box for many hours. He drew the conclusion that he could mail himself north to escape slavery.
After Henry’s family is sold, he purposefully pours sulphuric acid on his hand so that he could stay home from work in order to get some help in mailing himself to the northern states to escape slavery in the southern United States.
The story is set in New Orleans and is about a family who opens a restaurant that is haunted. Fred, the ghost is a little timid and all of his attempts to scare people off only make the place more interesting to them. The main character, Marie, a child of the new owner, figures out a way to make him stay and be happy. They make a messy room for him where he feels at home, and they make a dessert, Powdered Ghosts Puffs, in his honor. The illustrations support the text and will be enjoyed by children especially on Halloween.
Cause and Effect: Because Fred couldn’t have a messy place to stay, the effect was that he was planning to leave.
Because Fred made the food fly around, the effect was that the people in the restaurant liked the atmosphere even more.
Drawing Conclusions: How did Marie draw the conclusion that Fred would stay if they made him his own space?
Text-to-Self Connections: Each Saint holiday from December 6th through January 6th is included.
Text-to-Text Connections: Strega Nona’s Christmas
Big Anthony is once again the star of the show as he gobbles up the goats’ special turnips.
Author’s Purpose: to share the culture of Italy and the special Saint’s days.
Drawing Conclusions: What do you conclude is the reason that Big Anthony gave his special meal to the goat?
The story is set in Calabria at Christmas time. The community celebrates the Feast of Sn Nicola, Feast of Santa Lucia, and several other special days. The food and customs of each day are detailed with the characters actions. The Eve of Epifania was extra special because they believed that animals may be able to speak that night. They wanted to feed them well. Big Anthony ate the goat’s special food so the goat eats Big Anthony’s blanket. Strega Nona gives a special blessing to the people of a dream of food which Big Anthony can not enjoy because he is cold and not sleeping well. On The Feast of Epifania Big Anthony finds the bean in the King’s Cake and gets to be king. Strega Nona will make him anything he desires. He requests the turnips that were for the goat that he had eaten so he can give them to the goat. Children whose culture celebrates the saint days will especially enjoy the story.
Text-to-Self Connections: getting new shoes messed up
Cause and Effect: Because Delly needed the shoes, the effect is that her dad found a way to buy them.
Because the girls scuffed her shoes, the effect is Delly found a way to paint them to be beautiful.
Because Delly’s shoes were the most beautiful and matched her box, the effect was that the bid kept going up on her box.
Drawing Conclusions: What conclusion to you come to about the kind of family that is Delly’s family?
Point of View: Delly tells the story from her point of view.
Delly, the oldest of five, does not have any shoes that are fit to wear so she goes to school barefoot. One of the more wealthy girls makes fun of her for not having shoes. The teacher assigns a project of decorating a shoe box with a box supper inside and auctioning it off to raise money for art supplies at the school’s fall festival. After her father buys her some shoes, and the girls at school purposefully scuff them up, Delly makes them beautiful again by decorating them with paint her mother has made from the natural resources in nature. The story ends with pumpkin carving and a happy barefoot walk home to feel the sand squish in their toes for the last time until the next spring.
Schema: honey bees, making butter by shaking a jar, flour
Text-to-self Connections: baking with an adult, knowing the cow as the animal from which humans drink their milk
This is a very sweet picture book about a mama mouse and her baby girl as they go on an adventure to find the ingredients to find something “sweet and new to nibble” and made with “a little bit of love” which turns out to be a huckleberry pie. Baby mouse does not know what Mama is gathering the ingredients to make so as each ingredient is found, students could try to predict what it will be. After reading, students could practice sequencing the places that Mama went to in order to find what she needed. The illustrations support the text and are excellent.
Drawing Conclusions: What do you conclude that the ingredients will be used for?
Sequencing: What order did the mother mouse get her supplies? First: honey, second: flour, third: berries; fourth: milk
Text-to-Text Connections: books where a mother and a child do something together
The goose man is Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian born doctor who devoted his life to the study of ethology, an animal behavior involving instinct. This focus of this book is on the his work about geese and how they communicate with different types of honks and how they imprint on the first living creature they see. Konrad learned how to imitate the goose honks to communicate with them. He had several pets throughout his life, and he won the Nobel Peace Price in 1973. The lively illustrations and amount of text on the page makes this book a very interesting read aloud that students will enjoy.
Author’s purpose: to share information about a famous scientist
Cause and Effect: Because Konrad was the first creature the baby goose saw, the effect is that the goose imprinted on him.
Drawing Conclusions: What conclusions does Konrad draw from observing the geese?
Mental Image: Several remarks are made in the book about the mess the animals made in the house. Can you make a mental image of what a mess a monkey or a goose inside the house would make?