Monday, October 08, 2007

News From The Library--October 8, 2007

Genre Scavenger Hunt

Sixth graders had a lot of fun this week learning about different genres of literature. First we viewed a Keynote that explained the common genres and gave examples from our library. Next we divided into 3 teams and each team was given cards with the genres written on them. Students had to go out into the library and find an example of each genre, put the card in the book, and make a stack on the table for their team. Lots of fun was had trying to be the first team to finish and learning how to find different genres in our library was accomplished as well!

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--This week we worked on a very important skill--how to turn the pages in a library book! We sat in a circle and I gave each student one of our ABC books. (We have a great collection) I showed them how to carefully turn pages, both forward and backward, by starting at the top right hand or bottom right hand corners respectively. Then they carefully found the page in their book that corresponded to the first letter of their name. With our newfound skills, we had a good time finding the first letters of other things from fish to zebras.

First Grade--When George the puppy's mother asks him to bark, the strangest thing happened. He quacked, mooed, meowed....everything but barked. Bark George by Jules Fieffer is hilarious and always elicits great belly laughs from the children. We had a lot of fun coming up with other sounds that George might make.

Second Grade--We finished up our "study" of the 3 little pigs this week with The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. This is one of the most popular read aloud books I use in the library. Something about switching the characters makes it inherently funny and the ending is such a surprise. I use these books to teach students about plot, character, and point of view and by using a familiar tale we can focus on learning about those literary devices.

Third Grade--This week we read Carol Otis Hurst's charming book Rocks in His Head which is the true story of her father's passion for rocks and how during the Depression he kept that passion alive and ended up a curator of minerology. This inspiring story shows the value of perseverence and the value of a true love of learning.

Fourth Grade--For the first time, fourth graders brought their laptops to the library and we set up their online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. After a quick tour, they drew topics from a hat and did some research. You are welcome to use this at home as well. You'll need a user name and password and if you give me a call, I'll be happy to give it to you.

Fifth Grade--This week we studied a touching and important picture book written by renowned children's book author Eve Bunting. The book is called So Far From the Sea and is the story of a Japanese American family in present day who is moving from California to Boston. They travel to Manzanar one last time to pay tribute to their grandfather who lies buried there. Their story is woven with facts about Pearl Harbor and the ensuing imprisonment of Japanese Americans in internment camps. Prior to reading the book to the students I showed a Keyote slideshow I made incorporating some present day photos I took when I visited Manzanar with historical photos I obtained from the internet and from a wonderful new site created by the state of California and UC Berkeley called Calisphere. After seeing the slide presentation, the students had a context for the story and later we had an interesting and lively discussion . One of the most interesting comments centered around the care we should take not to overreact to fear, and understanding that this historical part of California's history is not an easy "black or white" issue with one side right and the other wrong, something that is very touchingly told by the father in the story who was himself a child at Manzanar. Students also had a chance to see the other books we have in our Library about this subject including a non-fiction book with excellent historical photos, two other wonderful picture books, and two novels.

Sixth grade--see opening post.

Until next week....

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