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Todat we began reading one of my favourite picture books, Eve Bunting's "A Day's Work".
Bunting's work in general appeals to me because she is not afraid to address challenging themes like poverty, illiteracy and immigration, and she does so powerfully and with great effectiveness. Her stories are beautifully told, and excellent for use with elementary school students, because they provide foundation for "grand conversations" in the classroom.
We began by looking at a mess of vocabulary I had pulled out of the book (immigrant, chickweed, replanted, lied, extra food, parking lot, etc.), and made predictions about the story by using as many of the words as possible in a paragraph.
Later this week, we'll revisit the book, and discuss the main ideas and author's message in more detail. Then I'll have Alex and Simon respond to one or more of the following in a blog post:
- At first, when Ben came back and saw the mistake Francesco and his Grandfater had made, he was very angry. Why do you think his feeling changed after Francesco and his Grandfather talked to him?
- At the end of the story, Ben says that "Grandpa already knows the important things". What does he mean by this? Why are these things "important"?
- How does Francesco learn his lesson about "the important things"?
- Have you ever learned a hard lesson? What important things you learned from your hard lesson?
If you're looking for a great book to teach honest and integrity in a current, relevant setting, I highly reccommend "A Day's Work" for your home or classroom!