The first ever MSO Book Week concluded last Friday, amidst a great deal of bookish enthusiasm. It was a week filled with books, Mystery Readers and excitement. There were costumes, there was food and–yes–there was Plenty of Reading.
Monday began with a theme–Myths and Fantasy. Tuesday we celebrated those books that make us laugh. It was my turn to be a Mystery Reader–I went over the Little Side and read two titles guaranteed to tickle funny bones big and small:
In Room 8, Tuesday was also our day to explore Graphic Novels. Using the templates from Sweet Hot Mess (via her post about Raising a Boy Who Loves to Write on the Playful Learning Blog), I made blank graphic novel books for my students. We read Art Panels, BAM! Speech Bubbles, POW! by Trisha Speed Shaskan and the students got down to the business of writing their very own graphic novels. (Art Panels is the book in the Writer’s Toolbox series about writing your own graphic novel.)
Tuesday also featured a Book and a Math Project. I read Brian P. Cleary’s How Long or How Wide? and we got out some measuring tools–rulers, yard and meter sticks and a measuring tape. The book walks readers through the relationship between an inch, a foot and a yard, then does the same for the metric system. I hardly got halfway through the book before they were itching to get out the rulers.
After some exploration with the rulers, yardstick and meter stick, I gave my students an assignment from Mariah Bruehl’s Playful Learning. Students were instructed to guess the length of certain body parts (their earlobes, their arms from the shoulder to the longest finger, their right feet) and write down their guesses. I explained that their guess was known as an “estimate.” Then they got down to the fun part: measuring!
My students had great fun learning how accurate (or inaccurate!) their estimates were related to the final measurements. It was great to see them work together, too.
Our Mystery Reader for the day came just before lunch and read two of Mo Willems’ Pigeon books (reports say I laughed the loudest) and a few of the stories from Louis Sachar’s Wayside School is Falling Down. Classically zany, if I do say so myself.
Finally, the day was capped off with a few readings from Storyline Online. For those unfamiliar, Storyline Online is a nonprofit website run by the Screen Actor’s Guild Foundation. The website offers a number of different picture books read by different actors. Here’s Betty White reading Gene Zion’s Harry the Dirty Dog.
I’ll be back soon for Day 3: Nature Books and Earth Day!