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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

ReedALOUD: The Many Hats of Jon Klassen

The second graders and I read all three of Jon Klassen's books from his "hat" trilogy, I Want My Hat BackThis is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat, all published by Candlewick Press.
Many have written and spoken about the gifts of these three books -- those eyes! that palate! That amazing white space, as it were, where the reader's imagination takes hold!
Take these three spreads, I want to have my students provide speech bubbles to share what they think they animals are each thinking?
I wonder what the students think this bear and the rabbit were thinking as they re-encountered each other?

I wonder what the students think the crab, who outed the little fish, is thinking?

I wonder what the students think this turtle is thinking as it heads back to join its friend.

Great ideas for another lesson, but this one was about exploring Jon Klassen's work as a whole and discovering that magical space where the reader's imagination takes hold of the story. This lesson was also about finding themes in an author/illustrator's work.

Each student started with a piece of printer paper folded in threes as well as some pencils, colored pencils, crayons, sharpies, and markers. They could each choose the implements of construction (get that humor there?).
I read each story aloud and after reading the story posed a question to the students, they then responded to the question by either writing or drawing or writing and drawing their answer. 
After about ten minutes we moved onto the next story and repeated the process until all three stories were read and explored. 
After the final story and idea construction period, the students were asked these questions:

In the first story, raise your hand if you think... 
... the bear ate the rabbit;
... the bear is sitting on the rabbit;
... the rabbit hopped away quickly leaving the hat behind.

What other ideas do you have?

In the second story, raise your hand if you think...
... the big fish ate the little fish;
...the little fish swam away quickly and the hat fell off;
... the little fish apologized to the big fish and gave the hat back.

What other ideas do you have?

In the third story, raise your hand if you think...
... one of the turtles will take the hat in the morning;
... the turtles will walk away and leave the hat there;
...the turtles will find a way to share the hat.

What other ideas do you have?

By the end of this discussion the students could visually see and hear the diversity of thought and opinion. One idea was that the rabbit from the first book hops through the dessert and takes the hat while the turtles are sleeping. This, of course, requires one to not pay attention to the guilt-ridden language of the bear leading one to surmise that he did indeed eat the rabbit, but there's no proof, so I am not going there, and will follow this child's lead.

Here's a look at a few more ideas they had:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post! I had gathered all 3 titles and was trying to figure out what to do with the students. I am going to try this with 1st grade classes; not sure it will work as well as it did with 2nd grade, but we'll give it a go.