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

Friday, May 15, 2015

ReedALOUD: Interstellar Cinderella

This week, I read Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Meg Hunt. 

I have had such a fun week reading with my students. I put aside other lessons and carved out this one week during which I read a picture book with every grade level. It's a significant departure from our normal weeks that involve projects, author visits, and collaborative units at some grade levels.  

I chose each book carefully as I will only see these classes about four more times after this week. Yikes!  Interstellar Cinderella was a perfect fit for the second graders who have been exploring folk literature. These students also do a comparative study of their lives compared to those of children in China, Ghana, and Mexico. 

We began the lesson by activating background knowledge about folk literature and then closing in on Cinderella stories.

I asked the students to share what they know about Cinderella stories (not retell it). They came up with the big ideas: young girl, wicked stepsisters and step mother, prince, fairy godmother, big event, midnight timeline, item left behind, and marriage.

I asked the students what messages they have heard in the versions they have read. They responded with: dreams do come true and good prevails.

I then asked them to describe Cinderella, to share one adjective. They responded with: kind, nice, caring, pretty, and hardworking.

With all of this information freshly in their minds, I introduced Interstellar Cinderella. This book is so much fun to read aloud. I confess that my urban upbringing had me half rapping the narrative. Meg Hunt's illustrator bring celebrate this Cinderella's interests.
This Cinderella is no passive girl. She's a dreamer and a learner.
She's a reader!
But everyone can use a little help sometimes, and when she is stranded with a broken rocket, her fairy god robot provides some needed tools. I love that it is Cinderella that fixes the rocket!
Yes, she meets the prince (but you'll have to read the book to find out how) and they share a passion for rockets and get to talking. This Cinderella is still time bound and in her rush leaves something behind - her all-important sonic socket wrench.
Sorry for the spoiler alert, but after some trials and tribulations, Cinderella and the prince are reunited and a marriage proposal follows, but this girl is smart and sensible. She'll pass on that proposal, but become his mechanic. How refreshing!

The end papers are filled with examples of her many cool and functional tools.
After reading the book, I asked my last two questions again. The students answers were very different.

What message do you hear in this version of Cinderella? They responded with: follow your dreams and be true to yourself.

How would you describe Cinderella? They responded with: smart, tinkerer, independent, nice, brave, active, and creative.

This is a Cinderella that I can relate to! It pleases me that we have this version to add to the children's understanding of Cinderella. 

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