Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Read-Alouds!

We had a blast selecting books for our October bundle.  We chose a couple of new best sellers, and a few old favorites this month. We selected stories that were complex enough, they would lend themselves to span across 3-4 days. We plan to dive deep and cover many Common Core Literature Standards while also giving ourselves time to respond to the text with writing and art. 

We wrote rigorous text dependent questions where students use evidence from the text to deepen their understanding of the stories.  We created graphic organizers and writing in response to text activities to incorporate writing standards. We also incorporated an art piece to compliment each read-aloud and designed bulletin board headings to display the work. 

Each lesson plan will guide us through 3 days of close reading. Each day we will read the book for a different purpose and students will complete a different activity. 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend 
by Dan Santat 

Beekle is a heartwarming story that will ignite your students' imaginations as they travel to a place of imaginary friends and unbreakable bonds of friendship. Beekle is an imaginary friend who is searching for a child to imagine him. Instead of waiting to be chosen, Beekle decides to search for his friend. Readers follow him on his journey to the real world, where he explores strange real world things. Beekle has a fun twist at the end that students don't typically catch the first read. Its clever story-line requires inference and analysis of illustrations, which make it perfect for a close read.  We decided to use the 5 w's (who, what, where, why, when) to discuss the key ideas and details of the story. Students also found adjectives to describe Beekle.  Then, students imagined their own friend and wrote adjectives to describe him/her. Finally, students filled out a 5w's page on their own imaginary friend and used their graphic organizer to write their own story.

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Creepy Carrots tells the story of Jasper, a rabbit who can't get enough carrots.  He takes them from Crackenhopper field and eats them day and night. One day, after Jasper helps himself to another snack, he suspects that the carrots are following him. Is Jasper paranoid, or are the creepy carrots actually following him? This clever tale keeps students guessing until the very end...then delivers a twist! We created several graphic organizers for this story.  Students recorded the events, analyzed point of view, and wrote about how they would trick Jasper.  

Bone Soup by Cambria Evans

Bone Soup takes a Halloween spin on the classic tale "Stone Soup".  Finnigin is a skeleton known across the land for his voracious appetite. When the towncreatures hear of his impending arrival, they hide their food and lock their doors.  That is, until Finigin concocts a scheme that tricks all of them into giving him food to make magical bone soup. This story is perfect for retelling key ideas and details by sequencing. We created stick puppets and a Finnigin paper bag puppet for students to feed him the ingredients in bone soup.  Our students also wrote Bone Soup recipes and created their own crazy soup concoctions.  
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is the perfect book to teach how text and illustrations work together. The story is told through the clever illustrations. Dave and Sam plan to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. While the boys choose which direction to dig, the illustrations let readers in on the truth - they are barely missing the treasure each time they change in direction. Students love being in on the "secret." We created a simple beginning, middle, end graphic organizer for students to grasp the key ideas and details before moving to the more complex organizer.  Students then recorded connections between the text and illustrations.  Students also wrote about their something spectacular (goal), and how they will achieve it.  

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming 

Pumpkin Eye is the perfect book to help tackle poetry Core standards. This spooky, mysterious rhyming text captures the essence of Halloween night. Students are enchanted with its beautiful illustrations and detailed descriptions.  We found adjectives and nouns in the text. Then, students brainstormed their own Halloween nouns and adjectives to describe them.  They used their words to write and illustrate a Halloween night poem book.  

Piggie Pie! by Margie Palatini

Piggie Pie is a truly hilarious story about Gritch the witch's quest for pigs to make piggie pie. She flies to Old MacDonald's farm to find some plump piggies to satisfy her craving. When she arrives at the farm, there isn't a piggie to be found.  The piggies have outsmarted Gritch by disguising themselves as other animals. This story keeps students laughing the entire time.  Students squeal at the end, when Gritch meets Mr. Wolf and they each have their own agenda for lunch.  Zoom Broom, the squeal, is equally entertaining.  This round, Gritch has a craving for Rabbit Rye.  Her broom breaks down on her way to snatch rabbits from the Farmer in the Dell.  She visits Foxy's store to buy new transportation, where she isn't impressed with his cheesy sales tatics. 
During these lessons, we compared and contrasted the two stories.  For Piggie Pie, we focused on key ideas and details by having students complete a "somebody-wanted-but-so-then" flip book. Students wrote an alternate ending to the story and designed a disguise for Gritch to hide from the wolf.  After discussing the key ideas in Zoom Broom, students were able to complete a venn diagram, comparing the two stories.  

We have written detailed lesson plans for each of these books that can be found in our Teachers-Pay-Teachers store. You can purchase each read aloud separately or in the October Bundle. 
-The Core Coaches