Schema: Think about what is a home. List some places that are homes to people, animals, and things.
Text-to-Self Connections: Visiting different homes such as relatives, friends, and neighbors
Theme: The author is sharing the message that home is where a person feels happy and loved as opposed to a particular place.
In this full color picture book, the main character, a small boy, feels discontented with his home and sets out to explore the world and the way others live. He visits many places and tells what he does there. He doesn’t make any judgements about each place. Readers may see their own home in the book. Homes include a farm in a rural area, mobile homes, large homes with swimming pools, a bird’s nest, and an igloo.
Synthesis: Ask students what the author is telling them with this story. I think they will be able to synthesize the boy’s experience into their own schema and apply it to where they live and why it’s the best home for them.
Drawing Conclusions: The boy drew the conclusion that his best home is where he is loved. Each place he visited, he was alone. What was missing? His family was missing.
I recommend this as a read aloud for grades 2-5 for a discussion about homes.
Text-to-Self: monsters, funny stories, playing with food
Summary: List the tactics that the bunnies used in order not to be eaten.
Synthesis: Talk about what you eat and how you could play with it. Would playing with it make you not want to eat it? How did the bunnies surprise the monster with this idea at the end of the story?
Bob Shea’s books are always funny for both the child and the adult. This one in particular was such a funny surprise to me at the end. One of the traits of a good read aloud is that the one reading it aloud never gets tired of it, and this one meets that criteria. It’s smart and thought-provoking.
Schema: original Goldilocks and the Three Bears story
Text-to-Text Connections: Both stories have a similar plot
Compare and Contrast: What are the differences about and similarities of the Goldilocks characters?
What are the differences and similarities with the houses?
Synthesis: Can you think of another place Goldilocks could visit that would teach readers about manners or books?
Goldie Socks is a great book for librarians to use with library orientation in elementary school. I love the part where the books were returned to the shelf upside down and backwards. If anything could help students learn to put the books back where they go, oh the joy!
Text-to-Text Connections: In both books the main character has to deal with being bossy and the consequences
Compare and Contrast: Compare the bossy action in each story. In Ladybug girl, Lulu apologizes and KiKi accepts. In Tony Baloney, when given the opportunity to be in charge, Tony begins to boss his younger siblings as he was treated.
Synthesis: I wonder if the readers of these two stories would follow KiKi’s model or Tony’s model after being bossed. Do you think kids that are bossy, have been bossed around by big sisters or brothers? What could you say to your friends who act bossy toward you?
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.
Predicting: After reading about the dog getting an idea–he will look for some boots
After each set of boots–predict what kind of boot or shoe the shopkeeper will tell him to try next
Before turning the last page, predict what the shopkeeper will say are the perfect solution for his shoe problems
Synthesis: Create a story together about a dog who tries to dress like Red Riding Hood. What types of problems could he face with the hood and cape? He might try several different types of clothing before he discovers that his fur is the best thing for him to wear.
Compare and Contrast: Good manners and bad manners
Synthesis: It is better to be good.
This book is such a wonderful read to begin the school year. Ralph Raccoon’s parents are not happy with his good manners. He is sent to school to learn how to be bad. All of the Bandit school rules are the opposite of what teachers usually expect. Ralph can not be bad, but by being kind and helpful, he gathers all the goods in his school scavenger hunt and sets a great example for his classmates.