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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When given the opportunity to shine...

...children (and people) will do just that.

Picture this, fourth graders, mainly nine and ten year olds, sitting on the rug, reading and discussing Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, and not just reading and discussing, but closely reading and discussing the words and pictures.

It would have been easy for them to be less engaged with only two days left before winter break and the fact that six inches of snow fell yesterday and that they can sled on the hill during recess, but these students have taken on the role of a Mock Caldecott Committee.  They are taking their role seriously.

Nothing new here.

The shining part is the depth of their comments, the connections they made, and the small details they noticed.

One of the "aha!" moments came when a student pointed out that the ways in which Mr. Tiger initially goes wild in the city are mimicked in the wilderness.

The students commented on:

++ facial expressions (that Mr. Tiger sure does look bored and disgruntled);

++shifting emotions; 

++the shift in tone about three quarters of the way through the book; 

++the effect of the color palate; 

++the use of white space; and,

++the impact of the direction in which Mr. Tiger was facing at one point.

They loved:

++the end papers;

++the tiger-striped and textured cover;

++the color palate;

++the shapes and textures in the wilderness;and,

++both the humor and seriousness of the message - not being "wild" as in crazy, but "wild" as in finding ways to be true to oneself.

Their reaction at Mr. Tiger's wildest move was perfect and caused quite a spirited debate!

The conversations through all four classes were so animated that I had to cut them off for lack of time. If my students grades 2-5 had any choice, Mr. Tiger would have a significant amount of company in the wilderness. They love this two-page spread as much as I do!

Fourth graders are reading and discussing the books and they are filling out an evaluation on Google Forms. At the end of five weeks, they will review the books, look over their evaluations, participate in discussions, and place their votes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment