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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Children's Book Week and the Interconnectedness of Literature

It's Children's Book Weekan annual celebration of children’s books and reading. Children's literature, like all literature, has the power to help shape us as thoughtful, empathic, and courageous human beings. It also has the power to help show the interconnectedness of life.

On Monday we celebrated the power of picture books. Today, we started a literature quilt by connecting books across multiple areas of our library.  

First, we started in the Poetry Neighborhood and read The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams.

The Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams

 so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

The students shared what they thought the poem meant. Their thinking was pretty deep. 

"it shows the simplicity of things"
"it talks about how we should notice little things"
"it's a bit like the USA - red, white, and blue (water)"
"it's about how the wheelbarrow helps on the farm"
"its about recognizing things value"

We then traveled to the Fiction Neighborhood and read from Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. I read the first three entries and stopped where Jack, the character, talks about not understanding The Red Wheelbarrow poem. We then talked about the book and all the poems and connections one could make from it. 

From here, our literature thread connected us to the Biography Neighborhood and A River of Words by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. 

The loved this poem!

While reading the biography, we made connections to Naomi Shihab Nye, other authors, other poets, and the students' own writing, but our thread was leading us onward. We read the author and illustrator notes and spent time exploring more of William Carlos Williams' poems. We finished with a final reading of The Red Wheelbarrow.

We finished our literature quilt by heading back to the Poetry Neighborhood to read a poem from Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. 
We read No Idle Days by Chris Colderley and explored the themes in the art by Ekua Holmes.  The students understood all the subtle things that Chris did to capture William Carlos Williams. We also learned about enjambment and a variable foot, two things that William Carlos Williams used in his poetry. This was a really cool literature quilt to create!
The students loved the last lines of the poem, 
having read This is Just to Say.

I wonder where this literature thread will head now?

How are you celebrating Children's Book Week?

About Children's Book Week
Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. The theme this year is One World, Many Stories and there is a challenge to read books that feature characters, history, locations, and cultures from around the world. It is administered by Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor.