Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blue Spruce 2015: The Day My Mom came to Kindergarten; The Man with the Violin

The Blue Spruce™ Award program brings recently published Canadian children's picture books to Ontario children ages 4 to 7 in kindergarten through to grade two.
This program promotes reading for enjoyment and begins to develop the reader’s skill in evaluating a picture book based on story, text and pictures. Students read 10 nominated picture books during the school year and vote for their favourite book in the spring. The best picture book is selected by student voting, and the winning author is presented with the Blue Spruce Award.

The Day My Mom came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus
"I liked kindergarten from the very 1st day," begins the narrator of this very funny and touching picture book. However, she notices, "My mom was happy for me, of course, but I got the feeling that she was also a little sad" to leave her. So one day the little girl invites her mom to join the kindergarten class for the day, which turns out to be a real learning experience — for both of them. Somehow her mom just can't get any of the rules right: she barges to the front of the line, she shouts out without raising her hand, she slams down her scissors during Craft Time. How embarrassing! In a wonderful role reversal that will delight young children, the girl must become the patient and sometimes frustrated expert who instructs her mom on how to behave.

A fun role reversal book that discusses classroom rules.  Kids movie have used this concept for years: making the kid the expert who has to teach or lead the adults.  It is a tactic that make this book about rules fun and lively.  I see many opportunities for class interaction during story time and there are many connections to be made with the students home lives.  I predict some interesting conversations at the end of this read-aloud!
LESSON IDEAReport card.  Give grades of thumbs up, thumbs out or thumbs down to how mom did at first, how the daughter taught her; and how mom did in the end.
How many think their mom or dad would have trouble on the first day with the classroom rules?
Pick a rule and say how would you help them learn it?

The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
Who is playing that beautiful music in the subway? And why is nobody listening?
Based on the true story of Joshua Bell, the renowned American violinist who famously took his instrument down into the Washington D.C. subway for a free concert, this is a  story that reminds us all to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. More than a thousand commuters rushed by him, but only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute.

Dylan is someone who notices things. His mom is someone who doesn’t. So try as he might, Dylan can’t get his mom to listen to the man playing the violin in the subway station. But Dylan is swept away by the soaring and swooping notes that fill the air as crowds of oblivious people rush by. With the beautiful music in his head all day long, Dylan can’t forget the violinist, and finally succeeds in making his mother stop and listen, too.

This book has so many wonderful levels.  There are lessons about paying attention to the world around you; about not rushing so much but to slow down and notice the important things in life; to listen to one another; not judging people solely on appearance and assumptions; and, about the importance of retaining the imagination and curiosity we had in childhood.  The illustrations also seem to contain a higher meaning.  The fading of colours the farther from the music Dylan walks. (picture)

LESSON IDEA: discussion and connections
Talk about why no one listened.  How many reasons can they think of.
Why did Dylan listen?  How did he feel?  How do you know?(colours in books)
What happens when we rush around?  we don't notice things?  Did you rush today?  What things could you notice if you didn't rush?

No comments:

Post a Comment