Archive for April, 2008
A. The Man Who Walked Between The Towers
B. Gerstein, Mordicai
C. Gerstein, Mordicai
D. Scholastic Inc., 2004.
E. Caldecott Medal, realistic, biographical picture book
G. This book is all about a famous trapeze artist that had a passion for walking on high wires between large monuments like the Notre Dame, in Paris France. He one day saw the open space that was inbetween the Twin Towers and just decided that he had to cross that space with his tight rope. The police said that it was not allowed but he wouldn’t listen so he and his friends dressed up as construction workers and started setting up the cable he would cross in the middle of the night. By morning he started walking on it and so many people saw him walking it and police quickly came telling him he was under arrest so he just started going the other way on the cable. He stayed out on it dancing, laying down, running and just fooling around until finally he let the police arrest him. They took him to court and the judge said he could go free if did it in front of alot of kids, and then in the end there is a tribute to the Twin Towers that no longer stand due to the events of 9-11.
H. I thought this was a really neat book because it was artistically written and illustrated so differently than the usual ones I read. It made me feel very hopeful that he would cross the cable successfully but it also made me a little sad because it definitely reminded me of how we don’t have the Twin Towers any more due to those events that occurred on 9-11. That day was so sad and traumatizing to our nation that I think it it would be really difficult to bring up in a classroom. It reminds me of some of my own experiences because it directly brings me back to thinking about 9-11 and what I was doing during that time that I found out the planes hit the towers. I can’t honestly say it connects to any other books I’ve read because the event of 9-11 happened 8 years ago and I haven’t ever had the opportunity to read a tribute to 9-11 or any of those events.
I. I could definitely use this book in my classroom to discuss the 9-11 events, however this would definitely be a new topic for me to discuss in the classroom because I never learned about it in any of my classes because it was happening then, and in some cases it hadn’t happened yet. I could break the kids up into research groups and have them research individual events that occurred on 9-11 dealing with the twin towers, the pentagon, and the plane crash in the field and how they are all interconnected. However this would be very risky in having them study this because those events could be very controvercial in covering in class just because they have so much to do with politics and people’s individual views.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
A. The Giving Tree
B. Silverstein, Shel
C. Silverstein, Shel
D. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.
E. Poetry, Picture Book
G. This book is all about the life of a young boy who grows up into a grown man with the help of loving apple tree. This apple tree provided fun for the boy when he was growing up by letting him hang on her branches and make crowns out of her leaves. As he grows up he needs to make money and in order to do so she lets him sell her apples for money. He also needs to build a house and does that with the wood from her branches. Much, much later when he’s elderly he needs a boat to sail far away and she lets him cut down her trunk in order to make a boat. All this time while the boy is gone the tree misses the boy alot and is very lonely. He eventually comes back and asks to sit on the stump of the tree just so he can rest, and then that pretty much ends the story with the tree and the man being happy with eachother’s company.
H. I really love this story because I have grown up with it throughout my whole entire childhood. It has so many lessons embedded in it and its also really simple and easy to understand. It makes me feel overall pretty content but I feel indifferent because this book is so simple. It can relate to alot of my own experiences because in those embedded lessons it includes learning how to go out and do things on your own and become independent. I believe I’m proably one of the most independent people anyone will ever meet because thats the way it has to be because of my dwarfism. I have to get alot of things on my own without anyone’s help because when I’m out in the real world, as I am now in college, there aren’t always people available to help you out. This book also reminds me of alot of fun times I have had with my friends playing out in nature and pretending we were kings of the jungle. The only other book I think this connects to is Falling Up which is one of Shel Siverstein’s poetry anthologies that I am really familiar with and his styles of writing seem to be all interconnected.
I. There are so many ways that this book can connect to the classroom but a few ideas I’ve had include making up a gigantic life-size tree out of chicken wire, paper mache, paint, and paper where the kids will all construct it together and then on the leaves they will each write a few things they are grateful for. Gratefulness is definitely a theme that takes part in this story because the tree was so generous to the boy even after she had nothing left. It would be ideal to also focus on the main topic of sharing because at really young ages like those in kindergarten, alot of them still need to learn what sharing is or how to share in the first place. They could all bring things in for show and tell where they can share these items with other kids in the class which ofcourse would help them learn how to share!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I was completely amazed and taken aback while exploring these sites before reading the book. I can’t believe I never knew that a war took place on our own soil without even knowing about it. I also can’t believe that these people were put in internment camps and it was happening here in the United States! This completely reminds me of the Holocaust and it honestly scares the mess out of me! I can’t believe I haven’t heard about any of this until just recently in this class. I honestly didn’t even know that the Aleutian islands existed until I opened the first page to look at what this book would be somewhat about. Ofcourse, I knew what this book was about due to Dr. Frye’s synopsis in class last Tuesday, but the map on the first page gave me a more detailed idea about where this all occurred and why I didn’t even know about it. However, it still isn’t a good enough reason to not know about the Aleutian Islands and the troubled times they went through in the first place. I hope that reading this book will help me have a better understanding about what happened during this war and how the Aleuts felt at that time. I also hope I get a better realization of the things they went through so I can help others learn about it as well. I feel really sad about all of this and I’m not exactly sure of what I’m getting myself into yet but I guess I’ll soon find out.
A. Aleutian Sparrow
B. Hesse, Karen
C. McGillivary, Kim
D. Aladdin Paperbacks and 2005
E. Historical Fiction
F. Grade (4th-6th)
G. Summary: This amazing book was about how the local Aleut people began to live their peaceful lives on the Aleutian Islands. These islands happen to be just off the coast of Alaska. The main character in this book is a young girl named Vera who tells her version of what happened in the war of how the Japanese attacked her home in the Aleutian Islands. She was taken away into these camps where she had to leave most of her beloved possessions behind including her pets like her chickens as well as photographs she greatly treasured. She discusses how there is no privacy and how not only completely awkward it was but also how she disliked it so much because she was taken away from her home without really knowing why other than the fact that she knew a war was going on.
H. This book left me completely shocked and speechless. I honestly don’t know what to get to first, whether how still angry I was because I had never heard about this before or how it is talked about which such ease. This book reminded me so much of learning about the holocaust and how devastating the whole time period sounded. I just can’t possibly imagine what it must be like to be taken away from your family and friends, not knowing if you would ever see them again. I thought about all of the things I am so grateful for and how much I take for granted on a regular basis. I have been blessed in so many ways, just by being here at Appalachian, its such a blessing this blog wouldn’t even be able to begin to describe how grateful I am. I also thought about alot of things I want to do with this in the classroom and how hopefully I would be able to help my students see things from a different perspective.
I. Teaching Ideas: There are so many ideas that can go along with this one book but obviously one of the main things is to discuss and or research the tragedies that happened with the wars on the Aleutian Islands and how that has affected the United States to this day. I also think it would be interesting to see the kids try to relate this to the Holocaust if they were of the age to be able to read the diaries of Anne Frank. I know that they are totally two different ideas but both discuss the idea of camps and how people were forced away from their homes. All of the ideas we did in class about the quizzes of what our favorite things are and what we wouldn’t be able to leave the house without etc., I think would be a neat idea to do with the class. The where I’m from poems would also be really neat to do with the class as well. Lastly I think it would be a neat idea to do this around the time of Thanksgiving and that could be incorporated with learning about how to be grateful and what kids all over the world are grateful for.
I think this can definitely help kids grasp a reality of the historical events because a girl is narrating this who is near to their age, so they would be able to somewhat relate. I also think that we as teachers can help kids recognize all the wrongdoings in the world and by having them read books like this they would hopefully feel empowered to go out and conquer whatever their hearts desire. I also think that by doing activities within the class of how these books may make them feel and what they would do in these situations of girls like Vera in Aleutian Sparrow, this may help them to become more compassionate. I think its important to help kids realize that we are all different from eachother by our different cultures, physical and mental features as well as our various talents and abilities, or disabilities. We should help kids to understand that we are all different but thats beneficial because then we can all learn from eachother as one.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Reading Activities- Loneliness: I think that loneliness is a very complex feeling and I think that for each and every person it is comprised of different things. Some feelings that come to mind when thinking of loneliness include sadness, anger, feeling unwanted or left out, and or feeling disliked. These are feelings that are all obviously negative and I think being lonely shows a few of the personal aspects in which we are all flawed because we are most likely lonely because of our own fault. There are those few things that can altar that theory but for the most part I think to not be lonely you have to get yourself out there to the world and make yourself known!
Memories: When I think back about my favorite memories I immediately think of my family and friends. I think of all the fun things that I’ve done with them because all of my favorite memories has been with a favorite family member and or friend. These things include family vacations, game nights, movie nights, road trips, birthday parties, or just doing activities together like scrapbooking! I hold onto these memories by things I’ve made in the past like crafts etc and also by photo albums. I’m definitely a girl who is all about photos and I have them up all over because I like to remind myself of all the great people that I am blessed to have in my life.
Pre-Reading – Before I read the first half of this book I honestly have to say that I was pretty kept in the dark about what happened to the Japanese during the time of World War II. I saw these websites before I started reading and was absolutely appalled at what I saw and read. I just can’t believe the conditions the Japanese survived through and I can’t believe how we as a country let this happen after we saw this same thing happen to Jewish People over in Europe during the Holocaust. I’m moreover appalled that if at all the subject of the Japanese interment camps were barely brushed upon in my classes at school if at all. The websites gave me an idea of what I thought was going to happen before I read all that I did and the fact that these websites also gave me alot of visuals before starting to read the book gave me a setting in my mind of where this all took place.
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The novel The Thief Lord had a bit of getting use to for me, because it’s not like the everyday book I would sit down and have to take in all at once. I was actually pretty surprised that we read a book like this because for elementary kids this book seems very complex. I find it hard to imagine that some regular kids can take this story and actually conceptualize it for what is actually happening in the story. One of the main outstanding qualities of children’s literature that this story instantly brings to mind is that throughout the entire book, I never knew what was going to happen next, I had my guesses but they were never right! It was refreshing because I couldn’t instantly tell what was going to happen in the end of the book after reading the first couple chapters. There were also alot of plot twists that completely boggled my mind at first, especially that fact when we find out that Scipio is really a rich kid that has just been “acting” the part of an orphan as well as their “leader”. I was also surprised when Victor ends up helping all of the kids in the end and doesn’t give them up because in the very beginning he is only talking to Prosper’s aunt who you would think Victor would be loyal to throughout the book because she is an adult when in reality he in turn goes to help Prosper. I really liked that each character in this novel, I could specifically picture because the characterization and the imagery was so well done. I felt like I was really there, and books that include elements like those are the ones that keep me going and actually staying with the book. I liked the different themes The Thief Lord included because it was a really wide range. They went from the themes of friendships to hardships and also to successes. This book was like none other that I’ve ever read before because of both the subject matter as well as how the story played out in such an intrinsic way. I thoroughly enjoyed it however, I was taken aback by a couple of lines that I personally took a little offensive. In the The Thief Lord they refer to Barbarossa, after he transforms from the marry-go-round as a midget, and then as a dwarf and so I think some people may get the wrong impression that both a midget and a dwarf mean the same thing and in reality they dont. Otherwise, I really liked this book and look forward to discussing it with my classes in the future.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
As I was reading, Carnival at Candlelight, I thought in the beginning I wouldn’t enjoy this book. It thoroughly surprised me because I really liked the whole mystery that Annie and Jack had to figure out in order to save Venice. I also liked that there were alot of steps that Annie and Jack had to accomplish in order to get to the end result. Before I even opened the front cover, the book instantly reminded me of the Narnia series, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.It probably just had to do with the fact that there is a powerful looking lion on the front cover but that is my main connection to other. I thought it was really neat that Annie and Jack had to look back upon things they figured out in the past in order to go the next step. They used their prior knowledge to get through problems they were facing at that very moment like they always remembered to use the different spells in the spell book that would relate to that particular point in time. This came into great use when they needed to have the lion fly them over to the sea because he was made of stone to begin with. Without the spell that turned the stone lion into a real life lion, they would not have been able to complete the task of flying to sea to talk to Neptune. Overall, I thought this was a very creative book and I would be more than happy to have this book or even more, the whole series in my future classroom.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
A. Because of Winn-Dixie
B. DiCamillo, Kate (illustrator not applicable)
C. Candlewick Press, 2000
D. Realistic Fiction
F. Summary- This book is all about the transformation of a young girl’s life due to a dog with a great personality. She learns alot of valuable life lessons from this dog by meeting new people and facing hardships that her past has brought her. She is one of those little girls, that no matter what they do, they put a smile on your face. Her dog Winn Dixie helps her get through tough times and becomes her best friend. Winn Dixie also helps Opal become closer with her father and boys she thought she would always hate. There are alot of good messages in this book as well, like always treat other people the way you want to be treated and never give up on anything that your heart truly desires. This is shown where her dad is telling Opal to apologize to the boys for calling them bald-headed babies. An example of never giving up is how she doesnt want to give up looking for Winn Dixie in the thunderstorm.
G. Response- I absolutely love this book because there are so many things that a child can relate to throughout the book. It can be whether they have lost a loved one or even if they have trouble making friends. I think this book will have a great impact on those students who read this because it can help them understand what to do in situations where they may not know how to respond. Situations like needing help to make friends or losing a parent are hard in the sense that these kids may not know how to deal with these problems all on their own. I also absolutely love dogs and the fact that Winn Dixie got Opal through all of this was really inspiring and it just makes me so grateful for my “Winn Dixie” and my family as well. I also like that now that I know that it is perfectly okay to talk about God in the classroom, I think it’s kind of neat that Opal is a preacher’s daughter because everyone is to think she is a goody goody when really she just wants to make friends and find her mom. I also really like that this book sends the message that friends come in all different shapes and sizes. Opal has a dog for her best friend, a unique woman who lives in a “jungle”, an elderly librarian, a pet shop keeper as well as kids that are both brothers and a timid girl all for her friends. I like to think I am similar to Opal and I can personally relate because not only am I really different from alot of people due to my dwarfism but I also have alot of friends that are all physically and mentall very different. It is actually really neat to see this in a classroom.
H. Teaching Strategies- There are many things that can be brought into the classroom with this book but the main things that have quickly come to me, include discussing the importance of family. Especially for younger kids, I think it would be a neat idea if they made a family tree or just a report on their family telling a little bit about them. I think it would also be cool if they could talk about what they were grateful for and why by making a jar that is filled with many slips of paper that have the different things they are grateful for on them. Another really cool idea would be to bring up diversity and how all people are different physically and mentally. Also you could talk about the different abilities that individuals have and discuss with the kids how the different characteristics are all important. This can be done by making leaves out of construction paper and having each kid take a leaf, right their name on it and draw or write something that they are especially known for or good at. Then post the leaves on an empty wall in your classroom and have a tree trunk already made so it looks as though a tree is made up of each of your different students!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
A. Becoming Naomi Leon
B. Ryan, Pam Munoz
D. Scholastic Inc. 2004.
E. Multicultural Novel
G. This remarkable story is about a young girl growing up with her grandma and brother Owen, living in a trailor near San Diego, CA. Her life drastically changes when her mother all of a sudden comes in and wants to start taking care of just her but not her brother because he has somewhat of a handicap. Naomi has never known her father but soon finds out that at some point he really did want both her and Owen but her mother refused this. After getting a few harsh visits from her biological mom and new boyfriend, Clive, her Gram soon realizes that these are not the people the children should be with as the mother has been in and out of half-way houses and hospitals to recover from alcoholism even though she still drinks in front of the kids. Also she slaps Naomi and threatens her too. Naomi, Owen, Gram and their neighbors set down south to Mexico in search of Naomi’s father in hopes of getting his help so Naomi’s mom doesn’t try to get custody of her kids. While in Mexico, Naomi takes part in a festival that is comprised of carving different scenes out of just radishes. Naomi helps and in the process of winning 2nd place her father comes to see but then runs away after realizing who took part in that competition (his kids). He meets them back at the house and explains everything of how he really did want them but their mother refused. He spends as much time with them as he can before they have to go back in order to meet with the mediator about the court case deciding custody of the kids. He writes a letter discouraging the judge of having the kids with their mother but encouraging keeping them with their great-grandmother. When Gram, Owen and Naomi return to Lemon Tree, they enter the courthouse and Skyla (their mother) and Clive also show up completely dressed to fool the part of rightful parents. In the beginning it looks as though their mother will win custody but then Naomi tells her side of the story about her being hit, her mother still drinking, her mother only wanting Owen, threatening Naomi and her Gram, and then the judge completely changes wheels and discusses the matter of only wanting Naomi with Skyla because the judge does not believe in separating siblings. In the end Gram gets full custody and Naomi and Owen already had it worked out that they would see their dad, Santiago every year atleast at Christmas if not more.
H. I feel like I have said this about almost every book we read but I truly loved this book. I quite possibly think its my all time favorite of all of the books we have read in class. It made me feel so many different emotions because I was overjoyed when Naomi and Owen met their dad and got to stay with Gram but was completely outraged when Skyla his Naomi. I felt a little bit of a kinship with Owen because he has a little bit of a handicap but he deals with it in a tremendous fashion. Even though I am a dwarf I feel like I usually see the glass half full rather than empty. I was also very torn when the role of their father came into play because they saw him for the first time after so long and I think that is one thing I truly desire is to see my dad again after he died 9 years ago from cancer. Naomi becomes such a strong person by the end of the book and I think it is so amazing to see characters transform such as she did. The author presented so many different cultural details like the different types of foods that they all ate including the tortillas and bunuelos which are fried tortillas with a sweet glaze. Alot of different neat geography was also included where they talked about how the town in Mexico sat atop of a mesa. When they talked about the different meanings of their names and how both Owen and Naomi’s middle names were named after a saint on their father’s behalf, I thought that was really cool also. I think the author definitely presented an insider perspective because the source that all of this was coming from was exactly Naomi’s thoughts and just her thoughts alone. We always saw what she was thinking and what she thought other people were thinking but never anyone else thinking themselves. Unfortunately I don’t think this work avoids different stereotypes because there are so many different kinds of stereotypes in this story that vary from ethnicity to disabilities to religion to background and in the end all comes to where we are all from and that is definitely an issue that I can see causing trouble in the classroom in the sense that people would discriminate against others for those various reasons. There are so many different uses of figurative language that the author uses and I sometimes found myself just reading past them and not even noticing them but there were alot of metaphors. ” We were only a lick and a promise from the living room/kitchen” p. 24 “Now sitting down with her skinny neck drooping over the table, she looked like a swan peering into a lake.” p. 26There are some forms of imagery like this last quote where you can just picture what is actually happening like your watching a movie. Others are places where you wonder if a girl of Naomi’s age would actually say something as mature as she did like “I imagine what’s inside and take away what I don’t need” p. 14 That is pure poetry to my ears and if some student said that to me I think I would just melt.
I. There are so many different teaching strategies that ofcourse can come from this and first alot of them would focus on multicultural studies where the students would study different parts of Mexico and would do reports, posters, on their findings and maybe we would even have our own celebration of Christmas with the traditional Mexican heritage including the fireworks, make bunuelos, throw the bowl over our heads for good luck and other such traditions! I think it would be really neat for the kids to explore the Mexican heritage as there is so much I didn’t even know existed. I also am a bit worried that different subjects could come up in the classroom such as child abuse or child abandonment and I am unsure as how to handle situations like that those that would come up other than just telling the proper authorities.
A. Meet Danitra Brown
B. Grimes, Nikki
C. Cooper, Floyd
D. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books: 1994.
E. Children’s Multicultural Poetry
Once you’ve met my friend Danitra, you can spot her miles away.
She’s the only girl around here who wears purple every day.
Whether summer’s almost over or spring rains are pouring down,
if you see a girl in purple, it must be Danitra Brown.
Purple socks and jeans and sneakers, purple ribbons for her hair.
Purple shirts and slacks and sweaters, even purple underwear!
Purple dresses, shorts, and sandals, purple coat and purple gloves.
There’s just no mistake about it: Purple’s what Danitra loves!
Purple is okay, I guess, I have worn it once or twice.
But there’s nothing wrong with yellow. Red and blue are also nice. So one day I asked Danitra if once in a while, for fun,
She would wear another color, just to surprise everyone.
But her mom has told her stories about queens in Timbuktu.
And is seems they all wore purple– never red or green or blue.
Now she might just be a princess. After all, who’s to say?
So just in case, she’ll dress in purple each and every day!
I really like this poem alot because it is all about my favorite color and it is uncommon where other people share my same passion for purple. I also found it really interesting that this book is a multicultural book and it includes alot of different poems about African American ethnicity and culture. There are so many other poems that are in this book that concern alot bigger issues than just one’s favorite color and I would have also liked to do those poems as well but that would have made this poem about 3 pages long. This poem also includes alot of thematic elements that a rhyme scheme of AA, BB, AA, BB. Imagery is definitely included as you can see exactly what is going on in this poem without any pictures for reference. I think there is also personification because she is referencing the color purple as almost something living because Danitra likes the color purple so much. I also think there are some metaphors in this poem when she is trying to convey how much she loves the color purple! As I’ve said I think this would be great to bring into the classroom because it is so multicultural that it can bring up issues that don’t come up in an every day conversation.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
We were asked to try to find what the translation of Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi means and I think I found it’s direct translation and that is: I show not your face, but your heart’s desire.
So in Harry Potter, Harry finds this mirror where he soon figures out that it only shows what one’s true heart desires most deeply and in it he sees his parents because he had never met them before and as growing up without them I’m sure it’s probably the thing he’s the most passionate about. The main theme that is captured with this mirror is the fact that we may not always get what our heart desires yet its looking deep within ourselves to find what our hearts do desire.
For my mirror of Erised I have alot of different pictures representing different things that my heart truly desires. I desire to see my dad in heaven, after he passed away from cancer about 9 years ago, things have never been the same, and without him I feel like I’m going around the world with a piece of me missing. This picture is shown through the one of my parents really young and the young picture of me and my mom, because I also really would like to see her happy again and maybe have her find someone that will do that. Travel is a huge passion of mine that has been engrained in me since birth and I truly desire to visit so many places all over the world. I hope to be studying abroad next year and this is shown with the Earth picture. I like most girls, desire to find true love and I think that is one thing I’m so afraid that I’ll end up without. I believe my brother and his girlfriend are truly in love and I hope that they will take that to the next level someday by getting married. The classroom full of kids is one that I helped tutor and this shows my desire to become the teacher I think I’ve born to be. Teaching is a born passion and I just hope I succeed in not giving up and don’t burn out to soon/ever. I would really like to become stronger in my faith (the pic of my church) and learn more about my religion as I’m trying to explore alot of different options while I am still in college. As for going to Appalachian, I desire to graduate with honors and take my Appalachian experience with me wherever I may go throughout my teaching career (app pic). The picture of me and my friends and the Little People of America logo is to show that I desire to keep up with LPA by becoming more involved with this organization as I get older and out of school. I hope to make a difference in the disability community by making appropriate changes to buildings, opinions, and basically the public. The handicap signs are extremely important because my dwarfism is an essential part of who I am and so I desire to stay that way and for other people to just be able to accept that. I hope to make some changes in the world by positively influencing our society all about dwarfism. There are so many other desires I have but are hard to show in this visual and I hope that this is a good representation of my version of the mirror of Erised.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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