"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What does awesome sound like?


On Friday...

In my library...

It sounded like three consecutive classes of fifth graders reading and conversing.  What were they reading?  Sharon Creech's Hate That Cat and Heartbeat.

Just to give you a sense of how awesome it is, I will tell you that I have a small library and 24 fifth graders can take up the space, both physically and vocally, fairly quickly.  These students were so engaged in Sharon Creech's books that their voices naturally dropped and I could move from group to group to quietly observe.

Here's a small sample:

We began our author study with Love that Dog I had such a great time reading it with them.  As an aside, I had the students read and discuss each poem before I read the passage in the book (as was suggested in Teach Creech).  They loved hearing some of their thoughts mirrored by Jack.

We then watched the reader's theater performance of the book on TeachingBooks.  It features Sharon Creech, Walter Dean Myers, Avi and Sarah Weeks.  I loved that there was an audible intake of breathe when the students first heard Walter Dean Myers voice as he read "Love that Boy."  You know that a piece of writing is great when students react that way. 

In groups of six, the students are reading either Hate That Cat or Heartbeat.  After reading the books, each group will create and perform a reader's theater script.  The students will also respond to and share their experience with the books via VoiceThread.   I would love start a dialogue with another group of readers.  Let me know if you are interested!

Also yesterday, one of the students shared that she wanted to write a letter to Sharon Creech in the style "inspired by Jack."

"Dear Ms. Sharon Creech, you probably don't want to hear from us..."

Wow, that's when you know a book has made an impact.  They were excitedly quoting the letter. Great stuff indeed.

Speaking of books making an impact...don't forget, Wednesday, March 7th is World Read Aloud Day!

Help make opportunities like this one a reality for all children and help make reading a reality for all people around the world.  Join the LitWorld initiative!


  1. Ohhhhhhhmygosh - this is so amazing. Where is your school? Want to Skype sometime?