Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blue Spruce 2015:Kenta and the Big Wave; Oddrey and The New Kid

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.

Kenta and the Big Wave by Ruth Ohi

The tsunami has swept everything away—including Kenta’s most prized possession, his soccer ball.
When tragedy strikes Kenta’s small village in Japan, he does all he can to hang on to the things that matter to him most. But amidst the chaos of an emergency evacuation brought on by the tsunami, Kenta and his family must quickly leave their home, taking with them only the barest necessities. Climbing to safer ground, Kenta watches helplessly as his prized soccer ball goes bouncing down a hill and gets swept away by the waves, never to be seen again… that is until it washes up on a beach on the other side of the world, into the hands of a child who takes it upon himself to return the ball to its rightful owner.

Love the page showing the kids playing while living at the school after the tsunami.  This is a good way to introduce the idea of natural disasters to primary grades in an age appropriate way.  But the gem of this story is the adventure that Kenta's soccer ball goes on and it's journey back to Japan.
-pair this story with a Pen Pal program with a school in another country.
-Pair this story with fact books of tsunamis and hurricanes and fires.  Talk about how we have fire drills and Kenta's school have tsunami drills.  Compare and contrast the two activities.
-Have the kids colour a basic world map.  Have them chose  and draw on the map an important toy or item and have them predict on the map where it could travel to by ocean current.

Oddrey and The New Kid by Dave Whamond
Ever since she averted disaster in the class production of The Wizard of Oz, Oddrey has been making new friends at school. Her classmates have come to appreciate her irrepressible charm and Oddrey, in turn, encourages them to be their own unique selves. So when Oddrey's teacher introduces a new girl, Maybelline, to the class, Oddrey, ever the optimist, is sure that they'll become the best of friends.  But Maybelline's elaborate storytelling habits and bossy playground personality soon force Oddrey to reconsider. Fed up with Maybelline's tall tales, and her classmates' fascination with Maybelline's stories, Oddrey challenges Maybelline during a class trip to the zoo. The adventure that ensues is Maybelline's and Oddrey's best adventure yet!

More fun and bright illustrations. Another tale about Oddrey who still sees the world in a unique manner and a new character, Mabelline, who like to tell stories of her many adventures.The middle part of the story becomes a wordless book allowing the reader to actively become part of the storytelling.  I feel that a discussion at the end is still necessary to discuss whether Mabelline's stories were true or false or mostly true.
LESSON IDEA: Tall Tales - discussion and comparison
what is a tall tale.  list items that hint that a story may be a tall tale ___ The story has many exaggerations in it.
___ The main character has a problem to solve.
___ The main character is bigger than life and has super-human abilities.
___ The plot of the story is funny and impossible
discuss one or two of Mabelline's stories and write on chart paper which parts match a tall tale and which parts  could be true.

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