Sunday, September 13, 2009

Graphic Novels

I enjoy reading graphic novels and comics/comic strips; I think students should be taught to read them critically, just as they would a boring ol' book with no pictures -- why this layout, these colors? what does the facial expression or font style tell you about the characters?  Reluctant writers can create comic panels as a way of learning and practicing the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing.  Can you tell me a story using these images and/or can you tell me the story without the images?

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame (1908)

I think this is the oldest book on my list so far... probably better as a read aloud than independent reading for most students.  Poetic, old fashioned, most people know Mr Toad but I really enjoyed Rat and Mole (and would love to spend an evening toasty by the fire with Badger.

(confession: didn't actually finish this one yet, but the Library wants it back)

Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

Christopher Paul Curtis

Newbery Medal 2000

This was supposed to start my summer reading, but for some reason something else kept getting shifted to the top of the stack.  My loss.  Now that I finally got to it, the week before school started, I wish I would have read it earlier so I could flip back to page 1 and read it again.

I like books I can connect to music; reading this in class would be accompanied by jazz and 1930's tunes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Los Perros Magicos de los Volcanes

Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes

por Manlio Argueta

A folk tale about the magic dogs, cadejos, of El Salvador. I love books written in both Spanish and English, I want to have a ton of not only for my ELLs but for all students -- how can you live in SoCal and not know how to say "quesadilla"?!?!?

Small Worlds: Maps and Mapmaking

Small Worlds: Maps and Mapmaking

Karen Romano Young  (2002)

I love maps, exploration, cartography, etc.  I think students should make and read more maps, and this book shows many varieties beyond the traditional road map no one could ever refold.

Junie B. Jones

Junie B., First Grader Cheater Pants

Barbara Park

My first Junie B Jones book -- I tried to get one during 3rd grade "DEAR" time, but they were always snatched up too quickly.  This one would be good to read aloud  in the beginning of the school year, even for older students.  Honesty, cheating, consequences for actions.