Schema: trees, nature
Text-to-Self Connection: seeing tall trees, show images of the giant trees, talk about the senses and read how the tree hears and feels things. Also, the book represents the seasons as the tree lives through each year.
Extended Metaphor: The story is told from the tree’s point of view as if the tree is a very old soul.
Personification: The tree takes on human traits as “he smells fire” and “feels a chill.”
What a lovely book to read to children! The beauty of the west coast wildlife is illustrated throughout the book. The feelings of the ancient tree show readers the value of taking care of these beauties. Maybe this book will inspire readers to visit the Sequoia in their lifetime. I visited this area for the first time just a few years ago and even though I had seen the trees on video and in books, it was awesome to experience their magnificence in person.
Schema: being cruel and unkind
Text-to-Self: Feeling mistreated by other kids, not being accepted
Bullies: Chloe decides to be cruel and bully another student.
Mental Images: Imagine the ripple of the water and think how this is like an action of kindness or cruelty.
Metaphor: The ripple and the act are alike in one way; they both spread far from you.
Synthesis: What small things have you done to make the world, your home, your school, your family better?
Can you think of ways Chloe could make amends for the way she treated Maya if she never sees her again?
Schema: bears, fall
Setting: This book takes place in the woods.
Compare and Contrast: This is a great book to use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast real bears and imaginary bears.
Real: would not befriend a person, would not stand and hide behind a tree day after day, would not treat books kindly, hibernates during the winter
Imaginary: comes when called, listens to the woman reading, gently carries books back to cave
Inference: Readers will infer in this story that a bear wants to know what letters are and what it has to do with books.
Text-to-Text Connections: In both books, the bears want to communicate. Both stories use a third person narrative. The bears in both stories are caring creatures.
Creative Writing: What would each bear’s story be if you could write it for them?
Schema: traditional song with new words
Text-to-Self: Five Senses
Synthesis: Create a new song based on this pattern but have each student choose a place that they would like to learn more about and use that as the location. Incorporate research on the places as part of the preparation to writing the song. Use each of the five senses in the original songs highlighting sights and sounds unique to the setting of each song.
Schema: fall colors
Author’s POV: third 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-Text Connections: City Mouse, Country Mouse
Life cycle of a frog
This book is a great one to show the seasons. During the season of winter, frog does not come out to play. He could be hibernating since frogs do hibernate. I think the reader can read this book on many levels. For the youngest child, the focus on the seasons, hibernation, and playing is enough. For the older reader, a discussion about meeting new friends, coping with change, and enjoying life as it comes to us can happen. Maybe the frog had died, but the reader is not told. I choose to think he is just hibernating and will join dog and chipmunk later.
Schema: selling what you make, seasons
Circle story: The story begins in the fall and follows the man and his family through a year as they make what they can on their farm to sell and use the money from what they sell to buy the things that they can not make.
Predicting: What do you think the Ox-Cart man will be doing the next fall?
Drawing Conclusions: What do you think the Ox-Cart man might buy with his money the next year?
Sequencing: Sequence the farm chores and activities that the family does throughout the year.
Synthesizing: What do you think the things that the man sold will be used for after he sells them?
Schema: windy days
Personification: The wind takes on human traits and speaks in this tale.
Cause and Effect: Because the wind blows the sisters’ cornmeal away, the effect is that Willa is determined to get it back or get something in return.
Characterization: Willa is a strong woman character. She can be described as fearless and aggressive. Use the idea wheel to describe Willa.
Drawing Conclusions: Willa draws the conclusion that the innkeeper is dishonest.
Predicting: Predict what the innkeeper will do when Willa arrives with the goat.
Seasons: With March winds, this is a good one to use for Spring.
Text-to-Text Connections: The Windy Day by G. Brian Karas
The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
Schema: March winds, the old saying that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” chasing something that has blown away
Cause and Effect: Because it was so windy, the effect is that everything is blowing away
Predicting: Ask the students to predict what is going to blow away next. There are clues on each preceding page of what will be next.
Sequencing: Use a sequence graphic to sequence the order of the items being blown by the wind.
Spring begins in late March so this is a good one to use for a seasonal book.
Text-to-Text Connections with The Windy Day by G. Brian Karas
Willa and the Wind by Janice M. Del Negro
Schema: people you know that are always helping others
Sequencing: the book goes through each season
Characterization: Make a graphic organizer to show Darrell’s characteristics.
With Tommy he takes the time to let him play like he is driving his truck
With The Barretts he gives the firewood to them even though they can not pay him now.
He gives the Barrett children little birds that he has carved and offers to teach them how to whittle.
He offers to build a pond for the Murphys so Andy can play with the frogs.
Mental Images: Make a mental picture of “dirt roads…like chocolate pudding.
Cause and Effect: Because the roof was never repaired, the effect is that it completely blows off in a storm.
Because Darrell is so kind, the effect is that people want to help him when he is needing help with his barn.