The chicken or the egg?
What comes first?
The book or the curriculum?
It's a silly question. But, I'll share my thinking.
Ideally one begets the other. I often pick up a book and pretty quickly see a connection to the curriculum, either mine or a grade level. The book is often the magic thread which sews together the tapestry of my lesson. What then do I do when I read a new book that is lovely yet I see no curriculum connection? I suppose I can always teach a location and access lesson:
Where are picture books located?
How are they organized?
What do spine label stickers tell you?
But why do I feel the need to have to do even this? Why do I have to justify reading a great book? Isn't there value in this act? That last question is rhetorical, apologies. Of course there is value. As to why I have to justify reading a great book? I believe that the school librarian has a very important, very special role in the school. We are the dot connectors for the curriculum. I love collaborating with teachers and celebrate this part of my job. Also, I have always felt that my library department curriculum is best taught when it correlates with the grade level classroom curriculum (hopefully coming together in an authentic, engaging learning experience for the students!). Maybe though, it is time I cultivate the role of reading champion. I am already envisioning something along the lines of a program involving a "literature laureate."
The egg or the chicken? I have no idea. The book or the curriculum? Stay tuned.....