Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grace Greene - Teaching Love of Literature

On November 3rd we were lucky to have Amy Cunningham, Grace Greene, Leda Schubert and David Martin all come to speak at Bear Pond Books as we kicked off National Picture Book Month. General materials from the day are here. These posts look more closely at what each speaker had to say, with a focus on the Common Core State Standards.

"Never in the Common Core does it say anything about love of literature, but that is implied - got it?"

Grace Greene reminds us that just because someone has built a set of standards doesn't mean learning can't be fun, inspiring, and something kids will enjoy. Or, put another way, the direction to "demonstrate understanding of the text" doesn't have to mean a daily quiz.

Picture books offer more opportunities for meeting standards while instilling a love of literature than we had time to discuss. Grace's handout covers many of them (all handouts are linked here). Some highlights:
  • Common Core asks for comprehension of the text - in a picture book, that's both words and pictures. Grace reads picture books at least three times, first for words, then for pictures, then putting words and pictures together. The book Z is for Moose  illustrates (literally) the idea of storytelling through both words and pictures. It starts using pictures to tell the story even before the title page.
  • Picture books can teach up through multiple grade levels. Margritte's Marvelous Hat can be a basic picture book story for young children, an introduction to the painter Rene Margritte for older elementary school students, and a study in surrealist art for middle school students.
  • Goldlilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a fractured fairy tale - which gives an opportunity for students to compare the original Goldilocks with a dinosaur populated version, discuss what makes the new version funny (the author, Mo Willems, is very funny), and make up their own fractured fairy tales. The end papers illustration gives some prompt ideas for other fairy tale spin offs.
  • The book Rocket Writes a Story is a lesson in, as the title implies, writing a story. It not only helps young readers get started writing their first stories, it also shows how writing a story isn't always easy. Random House, the publisher, provides a learning guide for this book. The first book in this series is How Rocket Learned to Read, which also comes with a learning guide from the publisher.
Last, but certainly not least, Grace notes that the Moose and Rocket are both available as stuffed animals.

No comments:

Post a Comment