Schema: New Year’s Resolutions
Summary: Squirrel hears about New Year’s Resolutions on the radio, but doesn’t know what it means until she goes to the library to ask Bear. When she understands what it means she plans to make one, but keeps getting distracted because her friends need help with various things. At the end, Rabbit points out to her that her resolution must be to help others. Rabbit tells Squirrel that her “actions speak louder than words.”
Fable: This book could be used as an example of a modern-day fable since all the characters are animals and the book does have a good lesson to teach.
Idioms: Actions speak louder than words.
Theme: Be kind
Text-to-Self Connections: fussing and fighting with each other, getting back at one another
Cause and Effect: Because the crows ate the wheat seeds, the effect is the farmer builds a scarecrow to make them go away.
Because the crows build a very scary kite, the effect is that the farmer builds an even scarier scarecrow.
Point of View: From the crows’ point of view, they decide they must scare the scarecrow away so they can eat the grain.
Drawing Conclusions: The owl observes that the wheat is going to spoil if the crows and farmer continue fighting so he becomes a negotiator and talks to both sides who come to a compromise.
Synthesis: I am synthesizing that talking things out is better than letting what we are fighting over spoil.
Moral: “Words can do magic.” from the owl in Lionni’s story
Personification: the animals take on human characteristics and feeling
Text-to-text connections with these two books about frogs make a great pairing to show examples of fable and have a great discussion about accepting change.
Students have fun and are a little shocked with the ending of Tadpole’s Promise. I like thinking this book is about what happens when we are not prepared for change or when we are not educated about our future. It’s a good one to use with fifth grade before they go on to middle school.
A Froggy Fable is also a good book to discuss change. In this book, a frog is unhappy about the changes going on in and around his pond until one day he is captured and removed from his pond. When he finally gets back to it, he appreciates it so much that he draws the conclusion that he likes the changes.
Idioms: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. How does this idiom relate to the characters in these stories?