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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Henry and Reid

I'm finally moved into my new house. Yay! Hopefully things will quickly be returning to normal. I do still have a garage of boxes waiting to be unpacked, but at least I live in the same place as my internet access. That's a step in the right direction!

This past week we read The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. The week started off a little bumpy. This is a more sophisticated story (in the Literacy Launchpad repertoire), and I started the week by trying to completely re-read Caps For Sale from last week AND read our new story. It was hard to keep the kids attention through both those stories back to back, and it was difficult to try to squeeze everything from my lesson plan into our class time. So I revised my plan, and the rest of the week we just reviewed Caps For Sale. We don't usually do this; we almost always re-read our story from the previous week. It worked out well though; I enjoyed hearing the kids give me a summary (instead) of what happened in the story. They surprised me with how much they remembered. One of my younger students even remembered that at the end of the book, the peddler "walked back to town."

The Incredible Book Eating Boy is a story about a boy that eats books (it started "quite by accident"). But all the information from the books ends up getting mixed up in his brain, and he gets sick. So he ultimately opts to read books instead of eating them, and he hoped to someday become the "smartest person on earth."

I loved this book. It was clever and funny, and had just the right amount of text. It flowed really well for a read-aloud, and the kids responded really well to it. The kids are really getting into the predicting, and this book provided many opportunities for both predicting and brainstorming. They predicted what would happen when Henry ate books, they guessed what books might taste like, they discussed whether they would ever eat a book (no worries, none of them sounded interested), they predicted what he would do with the books after he stopped eating them, and they brainstormed other silly things he could eat.

When I asked the kids what they thought books tasted like, most of the kids responded by making faces and telling me how gross they thought it would be. But there was a girl in one class who told me very seriously that books tasted "probably like watermelons."

We did a couple activities with this lesson. We played a game where they fed books into Henry's mouth and Henry ended up "getting sick." Then we talked about how Henry should read books instead of eating them. So the kids then made their own books for Henry to read and put in his brain. You can't see it very well in the photo below, but there is a cellophane pocket inside that cut-out in Henry's head. So the kids decorated their book covers and then dropped them into Henry's brain. They liked seeing their book in his head! We talked about how Henry was getting smarter, and smarter, and smarter!

I also had a buddy come to class with me all last week - Reid! He wanted to come hear some stories. He asked if he could join our class, but we decided that scarecrows don't belong at school, and that he would be much happier at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. We told him we would come visit him there though, and read him a story when we did. So I invited all my kids to come join me out there next month. They were so funny, many of them told me (very concerned) that there parents didn't know how to get to Cheekwood. I assured them that we would work it out!

The kids were all excited to meet Reid. Well, almost all the kids. There was one group of younger children that were very nervous about Reid being in class with us, and I had to move him out into the hall. I guess they don't call them scarecrows for nothing!

And some of you have been wondering what Reid looks like. Well here he is!

Thank you to Jen Barney for suggesting this idea for Reid's style. He's still not compeltely finished. He forgot to bring his backpack to class with him last week, but he's planning to bring it to Cheekwood with him.

Many of the kids wanted to read the books that Reid brought to class with him, but unfortunately, we didn't have time. Maybe Reid will share them with some of the other scarecrows at Cheekwood...


Sarah Amick said...

Reid is very handsome. I am sure that the kids think he is the coolest. You are fostering a love of reading, giving it special meaning at an early age.

Ruth said...

I can't wait to read The Incredible Book Eating Boy . Thanks for the ideas.

Jen Barney said...

OHHHHH- He is so precious and it looks GREAT!! I love it... I MUST get my hands on The Incredible Book Eating Boy!