Reader Response

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

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

F. 4-6

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.

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The Giving Tree

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. The Giving Tree

B. Silverstein, Shel

C. Silverstein, Shel

D. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.

E. Poetry, Picture Book

F. K-6

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!

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Aleutian Sparrow Reader Response

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

Pre-reading-website browsing:
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.

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Weedflower 1&2 responses

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

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.

Post-Reading- The first half of this book had such an impact on my thoughts and my mind. In the middle of this first half I honestly had tears in my eyes the whole way through these many chapters. This book as the most of you have already read is about the life of a young girl named Sumiko and the many challenges she deals with in her life mainly because she’s Japanese. The other very large factor of this book is that it takes place during World War II and it discusses how she and her family travel to these concentration camps after they have been pretty much banished or forced out of their community. Since we only read half of the book this week, we only got up to the part where they went to the first camp which was temporary at a race track, their “homes” for the very large families that they all consisted of was a single or double stall where the horses use to stay at this race track. The conditions were unbareable and the stalls smelled like manure. They later moved to their “permanent camp” where it was out in the middle of Arizona with scolding temperatures and a climate that of a desert, as it pretty much was a desert. Sumiko’s reactions, thoughts and feelings are all expressed throughout this whole book, how she doesn’t understand why they have to go through this, why way back in the beginning of the book she got turned away from a party that she was invited to, because of her ethnicity. She deals with so many things that most girls her age wouldn’t deal with for atleast another 10 years, she does all that she does because she has to, she works in the flower fields, takes care of her brother, cooks, cleans and so much more. Well, while she was in the new camp towards the end of the last chapter that we had to read she meets this young Indian boy on an Indian reservation. She soon finds out that this camp her and her family has been placed on is pretty much right on top of this Indian reservation. I’m excited to read what happens next and to find out what becomes of all this dealing with the boy and the reservation and how it affects Sumiko and her family’s harsh life in the concentration camps.I think it is really important to bring this into the classroom because it can help kids see that others out there are different from them because Sumiko, in this book is there age, and the fact that she tells it from her perspective gives it a unique quality which will help kids see Sumiko’s point of view and will most likely be on her side. Now there are always those special cases to deal with and those parents out there that are racist, bringing their kids up the exact same way. I’m a little worried but I’m ready to help kids figure out what is right, and maybe just maybe they can become friends with a friend of a different race in their very own classroom, and maybe just maybe this would help this kids parent(s) realize that racism is wrong, everything about it and maybe they would realize that they’ve been all along. Now this is definitely me dreaming here but it hasn’t been until I’ve gotten to college that I’ve realized how racist people can be. I grew up in a very diverse community, a popular college town, and there everyone is accepted, all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, sex, everything. When I got here to App, I still felt really accepted as a dwarf which was a definite perk of me coming here but it wasn’t until I became friends with some that I did and realize how everyone comes from different places, and in all of these different places people grow up with different morals of what they think is justifyibly right. It has honestly made me more passionate in my beliefs and a little more independent because I have always stood up for what I believe in but this is different. I know that racism is wrong, absolutely WRONG and as I’m sitting here writing my post I’ve realized I need to make my voice heard so that my students will have someone to look up to and they can have some one to relate to if they want to do the same. In our classrooms we will have those future genius’s that invent the cure for cancer, that create world peace or something….I’m saying all of this in order to say that I think once, we as teachers break down on those injustices I think if they see positive action taking place, they will definitely be able to feed off of it and those that catch that will be the powerful ones who will be able to make change. I think we can help our students become more passionate by helping each kid realize what is special about each and every one of them, because once they have confidence, then they have friends, and once they have friends right there they have become passionate before your eyes. Not only do I think it would be important to make kids realize what makes them special but also help them realize what commonalities they have with other kids, no matter what they look like. This is definitely important because once you realize what commonalities you have with others, it helps you connect with those on an even more intense level where you feel in sync.

The first part of this book has had such an impact on me where I think I feel most connected with Sumiko than any other of the special characters from those stories. Sumiko seems to like to please people, as do I, she has lost some close family members that are close and dear to her heart as have I. She is dealing with a physical appearance difference that makes her separate from most of the others in the world as have I. Now my difference hasn’t led to such harsh conditions as she is going through, I’m not saying anything like that, but I can say I know what it feels like to be turned away from something because of my appearance, and it truly does hurt. I honestly just wanted to jump in the book and slap Marcia’s mom and ask her what has gotten into her. I understand that this was a common thing that was happening at that time but still, there is no need, no need at all to crush a girl’s hopes and dreams. I’m going to leave with one last thought which is that next time you hear someone talking down about another, in any way, about their size, shape, color, ethnicity, religion, or anything of the sort, SPEAK OUT, let your words be heard, because if no one speaks up then what is suppose to become of all of this? If you don’t say anything in their defense who will and how can we go foreward?

Part 2




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The Theif Lord Response

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

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.

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Carnival At Candlelight Response

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

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.

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Because of Winn-Dixie

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. Because of Winn-Dixie
B. DiCamillo, Kate (illustrator not applicable)
C. Candlewick Press, 2000
D. Realistic Fiction
E. K-3
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!

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I imagine what’s inside and take away what I don’t need – Becoming Naomi Leon

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. Becoming Naomi Leon

B. Ryan, Pam Munoz

C. N/A

D. Scholastic Inc. 2004.

E. Multicultural Novel

F. 4-6

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.

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Poetry Anthology

Posted on April 20, 2008. Filed under: Poetry Anthology, Reader Response |

A. Meet Danitra Brown

B. Grimes, Nikki

C. Cooper, Floyd

D. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books: 1994.

E. Children’s Multicultural Poetry

F. K-5


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.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted on April 18, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

B. Rowling, J.K.

C. Grandpré, Mary

D. Scholastic Inc. 1997.

E. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Novel

F. Grades 4- all:)

G. Harry Potter is all about a young boy who grows up in the shadows of his cousin Dudley, as his parents died when he was an infant and taken in by his aunt and uncle. He soon learns that he is meant for a whole other world and is brought to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy where he makes life long friends and enemies. He realizes that this is the place that is meant for him and through a period of tests that challenge him as he is at Hogwarts he learns alot about his past and how his parents really died by an evil part of their world, Voldemort. Harry goes through this book searching for alot about his past and finds alot more than I think he was ever expecting. He is faced with different challenges that weigh out over others and in the end I think he truly learns what matters the most. By the very end he is faced with the dilemma of either being kicked out of school for breaking dozens of school rules vs. saving the wizarding world from the dark Lord Voldemort, who in fact killed Harry’s parents. He becomes the true hero he is meant to be and at the end (or for now) all things are set right for Harry and his friends Hermione and Ron.

H. This book is such an amazing book and there is so much that I can write about it that I don’t think this blog will do it enough justice, however I’ll do my best. I noticed alot of different things than the last time I read it, and this is probably because the first time I read this book was about 11 years ago when it first came out. I forgot how much more there is in the book compared to movie because the movie is the most recent thing I’ve seen about the first Harry Potter since I read the first book. This book makes me have so many emotions that its hard to pinpoint just one but some of the main ones are courage, love, empowered, trust, morals, and determination. There are ofcourse alot of other connections to other books I’ve read because I’ve read most of the other books that continue out Harry’s saga but as I’ve said it was really interesting reading this book for the first time in so many years, because so many people have the shorter version that skips alot of the little important things by just watching the movie. There are so many different themes in this fun book and I think it would be good to explore most if not all of them. Love is shown deeply throughout this entire book because Harry goes from not really knowing what love is, what by growing up in the Dursley household, to being surrounded by friends who truly appreciate his friendship, to figuring out that the love of his parents is what kept him alive to the very end of this book. Bravery is an obvious theme because if Harry, Ron, and Hermione weren’t brave in the first place, and even Neville they probably wouldn’t even be in this book. It takes very brave youngsters like themselves in order to not only confront, yet take down a mortal enemy. Along with this, bravery is shown by Neville who stands up to all of Harry, Ron, and Hermione by trying to stop them for what he thought was right so they wouldn’t get into any more trouble. Bravery is an understatement, none the less because there are not any 11-year olds I know that would go on the search for the one that pretty much wants to kill them (us). Predjudice is not as obvious as many of the other themese, however it is still there and being predjudiced is something I’m very against. It’s in here where there are those certain wizards that don’t think muggle-born wizards should even be allowed to practice magic (most if not all Slytherins) and also where Malfoy continued to criticize Harry for not having parents and Ron for getting everything by the way of hand-me downs. I think the theme of making choices or decisions all goes back on the subject of bravery because you have to be brave enough and be able to think for yourself, to be able to make the right decisions for your own morals and ultimately in the end its having the ability to be able to choose between right and wrong. One can definitely learn that the them of names or identities is just a phase in the sense that just by someone’s name you can’t judge them for anything until you have experienced it yourself. I mean this because everyone judged Harry Potter to be this great celebrity once he got to school but then they all changed their minds immediately when he brought Gryffindor points down to the ultimate low. They then changed their minds back again when he and his friends saved their skins from his bravery versus Voldemort and thought he was a great person all over again, so in the end you can’t just judge a book by its cover, you have to go through all the pages, or all the layers of the person before you can get a true feeling about that person. It takes a really strong person to have dreams or desires they are so passionate about because they are determined to get what they to get done completed. Fear and truth play an obvious role in this book because it takes alot of fear some of the character’s parts in order to find out what is true to their hearts in the end and also to see what they are really made of. Like his dad, Harry has a knack(sp.?)  for rule-breaking and  getting into mischief and luckily enough for him he always makes that transform into the theme for success. These are just a few themes I found direct examples from the book but ofcourse there are so many others as well. The websites I thought were very helpful however there were quite a few of them I was unable to open. The ones I could open I found very useful in helping think of ideas of how Harry Potter can be used in the classroom which I will be writing about in Teaching Connections. The main site with J.K. Rowling is filled with different information about all of her books and I think it would also be a great resource to bring into the classroom.

I. Harry Potter brings a variety of different things to the table of lesson plans for the classroom. However first thing’s first in the sense that I have a couple of confused/mixed ideas in the sense that while I love Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s brilliant whole series I know there are many others out there that don’t approve. I would love to be able to bring the life of Harry and Hogwarts in my own classroom but isn’t is somewhat objectable because there are many people who would have conflicting interests between this book and their own religion. One of my friends found out I was reading this book for this class and told me that she doesn’t read books “like that” because they have to do with witches which I guess relate to the devil and or Satan. I find this an interesting topic I think should be discussed because what happens when a child’s parents refuse for their son/daughter to read this? Yes, there can be alternate plans for that particular child but that goes down the path of singling them out on their own which I would find that unwise to make them feel even more different.

On a regular basis though, in the classroom I really like Dr. Frye’s idea about having each of us make our own Mirror of Erised. Each kid should bring their own version in and present it to the entire class. This can cover what the true desires or dreams are of each student rather than inanimate objects they just want. An idea that I became reminded of while looking at the sites suggested was doing the owl pellet activity in a regular science classroom. I remember doing that myself in even my freshman year of highschool, where you pick apart different owl pellets to find bones of other animals that an owl has consumed over the course of many different years. The students can then put together the bones they found to try to create the mysterious animal that the owl consumed in the first place. Harry Potter can also be brought into the classroom by addressing situations and asking the students what would they do if this or if that happened…There are so many essay or story ideas that can come from what if Harry decided to do this instead or what if you were in Harry’s shoes? To get different PE activities brought into the classroom for the recommended 30 min. of physical activity a day each student should get the kids can make up their own version of Quidditch and have imaginary broomsticks etc. Regular book reports can be brought up by creating mobiles, diarammas, or other visual aids that can help represent the different themes the kids discover in this book. This book is so extraordinary because of the fantastic use of imagination, real life themes, imagery and great literature that I can’t wait to hopefully be able to use this in my future classroom!

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