Monday, April 19, 2010

The Important Book

What better title for my first effort? Margaret Wise Brown's book is one that uses description to determine to significance of everyday objects - with a special message at the end. She leaves the reader with the message that everyone is special just for being themselves.

Several ideas come to mind for this book:
First is the discussion of importance. Rather than reading the text, students can generate a list of important things to know about the objects in the book. Start by providing an example from the text and encourage students to evaluate what is the most important (the most important thing about the rain is...). Solicit there ideas rather than using just those in the book. Encourage students to share why that is important. With interactive whiteboard technology - students can vote on what they believe is the most important.

Second is using the message of the story to write a patterned book. Students can write sentences or generate a list of important things about themselves. I use this as a descriptive writing lesson to get students writing about something they are very familiar - themselves! The writing mimics the pattern in the text and ultimately evaluates the important thing about each child. It's a great way to build your students knowledge and understanding of their classmates.

Third is the use of color in the text - just like her more well known Goodnight Moon, students can analyze the use of black and white to contrast color. Discuss why the selected pictures would be in black and white.

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