Saturday, March 13, 2010

Share a Story-Shape a Future

(Logo created by Elizabeth O. Dulemba)

Wow! What an amazing project! What a tremendous week of learning, conversation and ideas. All these was possible thanks to the wonderful literacy journey Share a Story- Shape a Future. This annual blog tour for literacy is possible thanks to a team of bloggers whose passion for books, reading and learning is shown throughout their blogs. Please see who those amazing contributors are by clicking right here.

Today at My World/Mi Mundo, I would like to answer one of their prompt questions:

Do you have a favorite chapter book for reading with kids of different ages (e.g. 4, 9, 13)?

As many of you already know I teach English as a Second Language to students in grades K through 5th. So, I have a wide range of ages I work with, therefore, I'm always keeping my eyes open for rich literature that my students could benefit and enjoy from it, despite some language barriers. Here at My World/Mi Mundo, I have shared with you all several times some of the things I look for in books to read/share with my ELLs. I'm a language teacher, and I work with ELLs, thus, I'm always paying attention to the language/choice of words used in a book. One of the purposes in my read aloud is for students to enjoy the story, love the characters, get into the story without worrying too much about trying to understand the meaning of each word. If a book contains too many slangs/idioms, I know that I will spend a lot of time explaining the meaning of those phrases than reading the book it self. BUT again, it all depends on the purpose/intentions of your read alouds. Sometimes, my intention and goal for reading certain books is to tune my students into paying attention to the choice of words, language, idioms that the author decides to use in order to enhance meaning. So again, it is all about being intentional.

So, what are some of the chapter books that my ELLs and I have shared and absolutely loved? Well, here we go:

My first grade ELL class is in love with the series Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo. And I knew they would! How could you not love a pig who gets so extremely happy when she gets to eat "toast with a great deal of butter on it." Seriously! How adorable is Mercy. Kate DiCamillo has created the perfect chapter book for 1st graders. The chapters are not long at all, there are tons of illustrations for support, and the familiarity of the characters throughout the series makes it easier for young readers to learn and get to know the characters really well. Every time my 1st grade class and I finish reading one of the Mercy Watson books, we have a "Toast Party" with a great deal of butter on it (just like Mercy!) and we write about our favorite part in that book.

We are so lucky that Kate DiCamillo wrote 6 in this series. How great is this? The books below are shown in the order of publication.

Kate DiCamillo won the 2007 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor for Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. This award is presented for excellence in beginner reader books. I highly recommend these series of chapter book for students in K-Grade 2. The laughs, the predictions, the conversations are all part of the reading journey. So, enjoy the journey!

1 comment:

Terry Doherty said...

Oh, we love Mercy, too! What a great contribution to Share a Story! I love the pics of the kids buttering toast ... with no shortage of butter either!