Monday, January 21, 2008

News From The Library--January 21, 2008

Martin's Big Words

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King and although we aren't in school today I had the chance last week to share a beautiful and moving picture book with the fourth graders entitled Martin's Big Words. Written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated with incredible collages by Bryan Collier, this is a powerful and poetic history of Dr. King and how his message of non-violence and the worth of all human beings was expressed through his use of words. It gave us a chance to discuss metaphor in both visual and print and to trace the trajectory of Dr. King's message. We also had one of those wonderful "teachable moments" in which our access to the internet deepened and enhanced our study. One of the illustrations in the book contains four candles and in the illustrator's notes it tells that they are symbols of the four girls who were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombings. One student asked for more information about the incident and within minutes the two of us used my laptop, found a reliable website, and got more information.

Also in the Library this week....

Kindergarten-We started out this week by closing our eyes and imagining what it would be like if at recess we went outside and the entire playground was covered in snow! Snowmen were imagined. Snowboarding fun, skiing, ice skating, snowball fights and snow angels were enthusiastic ideas. Then we read Louise Ehlert's charming book Snowballs. The rhythm of the story and the detailed collage illustrations gave us lots of chances to practice our skills of observation and sequencing.

First Grade--What would happen if a kind hearted hunter decided to share his cabin on a cold snowy night with a hare, a fox, and a bear? Could they all trust each other? In Tilde Michels's poetic story Who's That Knocking At My Door? they do make it through the night but one by one sneak out in the morning so as not to tempt fate. We had a nice discussion of harmony and tolerance as well as enjoying the rhyming story and lovely illustrations by Reinhard Michi.

Second Grade--"You're too small." This is a remark that second graders are all too familiar with and in Margery Cuyler's book The Biggest Best Snowman, little Nell finally proves that with the help of her animal friends she can build an amazing snowman, big enough to impress Big Momma, Big Lizzie, and Big Sarah.

Third Grade--Third graders brought their laptops to the Library this week to begin a 3 part lesson on research. This week I introduced them to their very own Third Grade Library Skills Blog and they bookmarked it and made a folder on their desktop for library work. Next week they will use the blog to get to a link to do research and the following week present their research using their laptops and Comic Life.

Fourth Grade--see opening post

Fifth Grade--We started our two part lesson on Website Evaluation called "When in Doubt, Doubt!" and after seeing a Keynote presentation about website evaluation, they went to their Library Skills Blog and together we evaluated two websites using the criteria presented in the Keynote--accuracy and authority, objectivity, and currency. Next week they will evaluate websites on their own. This skill--critically evaluating information--is so important for students to master and we will take time to practice it often in the Library.

Sixth Graders--I missed them this week as they had a makeup Art lesson.

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