Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Amazing William Steig

The Amazing William Steig

Third grade this week heard The Amazing Bone by William Steig and once again I was struck by his incredible respect for the minds and capabilities of children. The story itself is charming---Pearl the Pig is out for a walk on a beautiful spring day when she finds a bone that talks. After escaping one catastrophe she is caught by a fox who is bent on having her as his main course for dinner. Although these themes are prevalent in fairy tales, under Mr. Steig's brilliant pen, the story becomes much more. He never speaks down to children. Instead he delights our ears and minds with the use of wonderful words.....dawdle, odiferous wretch, flabbergasted---to name a few. Within the context of his sentences and with his quirky illustrations students enjoy figuring out these new words. And in the very satisfying ending, the magical words he makes up always elicit belly laughs from the listeners. I am reminded that children love the sound of our language and love to learn new words. Reading this book reminded me to sprinkle as many as I possibly can in my conversations with them!

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--What happens when a "freeze-in-place" contest puts your friend in danger? This is the dilemma for duck in book Don't Fidget A Feather by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler. Duck and gander each want to be the winner and instead become prime ingredients for a fox's stew. Kindergarteners get quieter and quieter (not much fidgeting) when the fox starts to pick up gander to put him in the bubbling cauldron, but are happy when duck loses the game but saves her friend.

First Grade--Wendell's mother has asked him over and over to clean up his room. But she finally concedes and lets him have his own way. Pigsty by Mark Teague is the funny tale of Wendell and the pigs that actually move into his room. All is fine, until his basketball is flattened, his comic books have hoof prints on them, and his baseball cards are chewed. That's too much, even for Wendell! The room eventually gets cleaned and the pigs.....well they get to visit every now and then.

Third Grade--see opening post.

Fourth Grade--We finished! We proofread our tall tales, got to read each other's, and they are off for publication. We're keeping our fingers crossed that they will be back to us before school is over.

Fifth Grade--Because of testing, fifth grade missed library this week.

Sixth Grade--We finished our graduation project, "My Favorite Book," and the display will be set up in the Library next week. Each sixth grader chose one book from our collection that they remembered during their years at Cold Spring School. We had quite a range of choices from favorite easy readers like Go, Dog, Go to novels like The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. With their laptops, each student wrote about the book and why it made such an impression on them. They saved their work and sent it to my folder on the server. I'll put a display card together using Pages and the display will include the book and a picture of the student and their written work. It was a great "trip down memory lane" for our graduates!

No comments: