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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Feeling like I was draining my students enthusiasm for our "wonder wall wonderings," I promised the kindergartners that we would begin an author/illustrator study this week.

And then yesterday happened. 
We awoke to a dusting of snow, just enough snow to leave foot prints, like these that I followed to school yesterday.
And then today happened. 
The forecast called for about an inch of snow to begin around noon, but a few flakes were already falling on my walk to school.
I arrived at school, executed a quick Destiny search and pulled all of our fiction and nonfiction books on snow. That author/illustrator study would have to wait. We need to celebrate the first snow of winter!

When the kindergarten students arrived the following books were on my bench:

I separated the books by fiction and nonfiction and book talked them.  In some ways, I now wish I had had the students wonder about snow and then explored the nonfiction books, but I decided to use this opportunity to talk about the Caldecott Medal since three of these books have been recognized for their illustrations. 

I also needed to read The Snowy Day.  It was just too perfect and I hadn't read a book to the kindergarten students for weeks. The Snowy Day was familiar to many of the students, but not all, so I am glad I chose it.  Before reading the story, I simplified the Caldecott criteria and asked the students to read the story with me with this in mind.  They love this story just for what it is and that makes me happy, but don't be fooled.  These five- and six-year-olds showed a maturity and depth when they were sharing their opinions after we read the story.  When asked why they think the book was awarded a Caldecott, they replied:

"I think the colors are unique."

"I like the patterns"

"The snow has colors in it and it is usually white in books."

"The foot prints made me feel like I was walking in the snow."

"The snowflakes are beautiful."

"I could really see what Peter was doing."

Maybe one of these students will be on a future Caldecott Committee...

I wasn't the only teacher celebrating snow, I happened to walk by a classroom and heard Dean Martin's voice wafting out into the hallway, "Oh, the weather outside is frightful..."

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