Well… it’s officially summer! Time to enjoy the next few months and do things that we may not have time to do during the school year. And for me – that means reading lots of new books! I plan to post some of my top favorites on this blog over the summer with some possible teaching ideas or strategies to go with them. Hopefully may just find a few new books to add to your summer reading list and a few teaching ideas too!
So here we go… My first two books are: Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and White is for Blueberry by George Shannon. These two books aren’t exactly “new”, in fact one of them is over 25 years old! But sometimes it’s nice to revisit an old classic and I’ve paired it up with a more recent publication. I think they go very well together – a “text-to-text connection” if you like! Both are very “interactive” in the fact that they invite the reader to participate. This always makes for a good read-aloud in a primary classroom as younger children love to join in.
Q is for Duck by Mary Elting was first published 1980 in black and white and re-issued in color in 2005. It is a classic and I read it dozens of times to my two boys when they were little. It is an interactive animal alphabet book written like a guessing game. “Q is for duck. Why? (turn the page) … Because a duck quacks, of course!” “I is for mosquito. Why? (turn the page)…Because mosquitos make you itch!”. Kids love to guess at how the letter relates to the animal. Some are more obvious than others – but all lead to a wonderful and interactive read-aloud. Also a great anchor book for kids to create their own “guessing” alphabet books about different animals or other topics.
White is for Blueberry – by George Shannon
This book is a great companion to Q is for Duck. Rather than looking at alphabet letters in a new way, this book invites us to re-think colors. “White is for blueberry… (How? we ask) ..when the berry is still too young to pick.” “Blue is for firelight.. (How? we ask) “…when the fire is at the tip of a candle”. The illustrations are bright and bold and the layout of the pages allows time for the reader to think about the possibilities before they turn the page to discover the “answer”. As with Q if for Duck, I think this book has great potential for older students to create their own creative “color” books and think of different ways to view colors.