#1: Why is Reading Important? (b) #2: Reading Tips for Parents (b)

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Handout: Poem “I Read”

I Read

I read because one
life isn’t enough, and
in the pages of a book
I can be anybody;

I read because the


words that build
the story become mine,
to build my life;

I read not for happy


endings but for new
beginnings; I’m just
beginning myself, and
I wouldn’t mind a map;

I read because I have


friends who don’t, and
young though they are,
they’re beginning to
run out of material;

I read because every


journey begins at
the library, and it’s
time for me to start
packing;

I read because one


of these days I’m going
to get out of this
town, and I’m going to
go everywhere and meet
everyone, and I want
to be ready.”

Richard Peck, author
Zihuatanejo, Mexico
1990

Handout: Poema “Yo Leo”

Yo Leo

Yo leo porque una sola
vida no es suficiente, y en
las paginas de un libro puedo
ser cualquier otra persona;

Yo leo porque las


palabras que forman la
historia se hacen mias, para
construir mi vida;

Yo leo no en busca


de finales felices sino para
perseguir nuevos comienzos;
apenas estoy iniciando
mi caminio y me vendria
bien tener un mapa;

Yo leo porque tengo


amigos queno leen y, aunque
son muy jovenes, se les
esta acabando el material;

Yo leo porque cada


viaje comienza en la
biblioteca y ya es hora de

que comience a empacar;


Yo leo porque uno
de estos dias me ire de este
pueblo y voy a viajar a
todas partes y conocer a todo
el mundo y quiero estar
preparado.

Richard Peck,

Zihuatanejo,

Mexico
1990

ACTIVITY #2: Reading Tips for Parents

(Can be used/adapted for use with beginning level students)
Rationale:

It isn’t enough just to convince parents of the importance of reading to their children. They need to be shown how to read to their children in a way that promotes love of books, language development and cognitive skills.


Student Objectives:

  • Students will learn how to read to their children in an interactive way.

  • Students will be able to identify at least four different parent reading tips when they see them in action.


Materials:

  • Handout: Reach Out and Read: Reading Aloud Tips for Parents

  • Handout: Homework--Using the Reading Tips

  • Handouts: Selected Reading Tips by grade level downloaded from Reading Rockets website (www.readingrockets.org/article/18935/)

  • A collection of short children’s books. Have enough books for students to work in pairs with each pair having a book. Or use multiple copies of a single short children’s book you have already read as a group.

Note to Teachers: There are numerous other lists of reading tips for parents one could

use. For a link to various Tips for Parents go to http://www.litworks.org/family_education.html The same activity structure can be used with any reading tips chosen or additional lists can be given out as supplementary materials. A short and simple one page sheet, available in English and Spanish, from the National Center for Families Learning is called, “It Takes Just a Minute: Read with Your Child.” http://familieslearning.org/NELP/pdf/Read%20With%20Your%20Child.pdf


Activity Outline:


  1. Explain objectives.




  1. Opening discussion: Remind students of the partner discussions they had about reading in the previous activity. One question was whether they were ever read to as children. Ask now for a show of hands on this question. In our experience, very few of our students were ever read to and many had no children’s books in their homes while growing up. Explain that the reason the class will spend a lot of time practicing good ways to read with children is because if you were never read to as a child yourself, you have no models to use when you read to your children.




  1. Distribute Handout: Reach Out and Read: Reading Aloud Tips for Parents. Read the handout aloud together. Demonstrate the tips as you go along with a children’s book in hand and discuss each one.




  1. Ask for a volunteer to come up and role play a child being read to by you, the parent. Ask students to raise their hands whenever they see you acting out one of the tips. For example, if in the role play you discuss the illustrations with the child, students would raise their hands and identify the tip as “Talk about the pictures.”




  1. Charades: Divide students into pairs. Give each pair a book and a strip from the Tips handout with one of the tips on it. Explain the game: students decide who will role play the parent and who the child. Each pair will then read some of the book aloud to the rest of the class and act out their specific tip. Other students in the group will guess what tip is being modeled. As soon as someone has guessed correctly, another pair does their role play. Give each pair time to practice reading the book before beginning the charades game.


  1. In the same pairs, now have students read the whole book to each other, trying to use as many of the tips as possible as they read. If there is time, have them switch roles and read the book again.




  1. To end the activity, review the list of reasons students generated in the previous activity about why it is so important to read with children. See if they have any new reasons to add to the list.




  1. For homework, have students choose a book to read to one of their children. The goal is to have them use at least four of the Reading Tips as they read. When they have finished the book (in any language they choose), they should record the four reading tips they used and bring those into class.


Follow-Up:


  • Download and distribute the Reading Rockets Reading Tips (see Materials above) that correspond to the ages of your students’ children. As students read the appropriate one page sheet, have them underline and find the definitions of two words that they don’t know. They should also put a check mark next to one of the tips that they will try at home as they read to their children. This can be an in-class or homework assignment. The Reading Rockets website also links to tips for parents in other languages. In a computer lab setting, show parents how to get to find these reading tips in their first language.

  • At many Boston health centers, pediatricians give out books at each well child visit. Ask students whether they get these books and if they use them.



HANDOUT: Reach out and Read

Reading Aloud Tips for Parents
Make reading part of every day.
Read at bedtime or on the bus.
Have fun.

Children who love books learn to read. Books can be part of special time with your child.

A few minutes is okay.
Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will sit longer.
Talk about the pictures.
You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
Let your child turn the pages.
Babies need board books and help to turn pages, but your 3-year-old can do it alone.
Show your child the cover page.
Explain what the story is about.
Show your child the words.
Run your finger along the words as you read them.
Silly sounds are fun to make.
Grab an animal book and practice making animal noises together.
Choose books that your child can relate to.
Select books that relate to what is happening in your child's world - starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
Make the story come alive.
Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.
Ask questions about the story.
What do think will happen next? What is this?
Let your child ask questions about the story.
Use the story as an opportunity to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects.
Let your child tell the story.
Children as young as 3 years old can memorize a story and many children love an opportunity to express their creativity.
Take advantage of your local library.
Sign your child up for a library card and expose her to thousands more (free!) children's books. Check to see if the library offers story hours or special events!

HANDOUT: Homework—Using the Reading Tips

1. Choose a simple book in English or your first language to read with your child.

2. Review the list of Reading Tips before you start.

3. Use at least four of the Reading Tips as you read with your child.
4. List the four Reading Tips you used:



  • _______________________________________________



  • _______________________________________________



  • _______________________________________________



  • _______________________________________________



ACTIVITY #3: Watching videos of parents reading to their children

(Can be used/adapted for use with beginning level students)
Rationale:

Watching videos of parents reading to their children is an enjoyable way to reinforce the interactive reading strategies students practiced in the previous lesson. Watching English videos is also a valuable way to build listening skills.


Student Objectives:

  • Students will recognize and be able to identify reading aloud techniques used by parents in the videos.

  • Students will be able to verbalize what their partners learned from the video.


Materials:
  • Raising a Reader Video: “Story Time, How to Share Books with your Children.” This is a 12 minute video which demonstrates shared reading with children ages 0-4. The narration, while in English, is slow and fairly comprehensible and there are lots of examples of ESOL parents reading with their children. The video can be accessed through the Early Education and Care website, http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/parent-and-family-support/ . Or search for it by title on YouTube. There is also a Spanish version of the same video, accessible through YouTube called “La hora de cuentos, como compartir libros con sus niños.”





  • Video: “How to Read Out Loud With Your Preschooler.” This is a four minute video which shows an African American parent reading Alice the Fairy by David Shannon to her three year old daughter in a very interactive way. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZSlUVrCJRo




  • Extra copies of the handout from the previous activity: Reach Out and Read Reading Aloud Tips for Parents.




  • Index cards


Activity Outline:


  1. Explain objectives.




  1. Hand out index cards. Ask students to write down at what age they think you should start reading to your child. Go around the class and have students share what they wrote. You might want to note the ages on the board, using check marks to denote how many students said “six months” or “three years old.” The “correct” answer here is as soon as the child is born, but often times students who haven’t had much family literacy or parenting education will assume you should start to read to a child around the time the child begins to talk. Have those students who recognize you should read to babies explain their reasoning and reinforce these reasons. Know that there is widespread agreement from child development, brain development and educational experts that reading and talking to children should start as soon as possible.




  1. Write the following key phrases connected to the video “Story Time, How to Share Books with your Children” on the board and discuss what they mean: raising a reader, shared reading, story time is family time and you are your child’s first teacher.



  1. Watch the video “Story Time, How to Share Books with your Children.” It works well to view it twice so students understand it better. Afterwards, have students list several things they learned from the video.





  1. Pair students and have them discuss what they wrote with their partners. Tell them to make sure they understand what their partner learned from the video, because the next step will be to report what their partner wrote to the whole class.




  1. Ask students to get out the Reading Aloud Tips for Parents sheet they used in the previous activity. Review these and tell students that as they watch the next, shorter video, “How to Read Out Loud to Your Preschooler” they will be watching to see whether the mother in the video uses any of these tips.



  1. Together watch the video “How to Read Out Loud to Your Preschooler,” minimally through twice. Tell students to just watch it the first time, without trying to use their Tip sheet. The second time through, they can check off tips as they see them being used in the video.




  1. To end the activity, review the on-going list of reasons students are generating about why it is so important to read with children. See if they have any new reasons to add to the list.



Follow-Up Activities:


  • If you have primarily Spanish speakers in your class, watch the Raising a Reader video in Spanish (“La hora de cuentos, como compartir libros con sus niños”).




  • Do a read aloud to the class of the book used in the second video, Alice the Fairy by David Shannon. He has written a number of very funny picture books with simple texts. Gather other books by David Shannon for students to leaf through. Emphasize that if a child or parent likes a certain book, they can look at the library for other books by the same author.



  • For those students with computers and internet at home, or who have smart phones, show them how to find the videos on YouTube and encourage them watch the videos at home with other caregivers in the household.



ACTIVITY #4: Big Dreams—A family Book about reading

(Designed for beginning level students)
Rationale:

While there are many booklets and brochures about the importance of parents reading to children that you can use as texts with an ESOL class, most are not simple enough for beginning ESOL students. This lovely booklet is. It will also be enjoyed by intermediate students.


Student Objectives:

  • Students will be able to read and understand Big Dreams: A Family Book About Reading

  • Students will learn new verbs and expressions


Materials:

  • Big Dreams: A Family Book About Reading, available as a PDF from http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/big_dreams.pdf. This is a 16 page booklet (eight pages of text, eight photographs of parents reading with kids) produced by the National Institute for Literacy. The vocabulary is very basic and is suitable for beginning ESOL students. Print out copies for your class.

  • Handout: List of Verbs and Expressions in Big Dreams.

  • Post-it notes


Activity Outline:


  1. Explain objectives.




  1. Distribute the booklet Big Dreams and have students look it over. Explain that you are going to learn/review vocabulary from the book before you read it as a class.


  1. Distribute Handout: List of Verbs and Expressions in Big Dreams. Define, conjugate, or use the verbs any way that is appropriate for the class. For beginning students, one can use the list to review or teach regular and irregular verbs in addition to defining the words. For intermediate students, use the list to review past tense. Explain the expressions.





  1. Read the book aloud to the class as they follow along. Pause to use the pictures to reinforce the meaning of the text. Or act out in your classroom what the parents in the booklet are doing. For example when it says “We look for letters every where. We say their names and the sounds they make,” model that by pointing out letters in the classroom.




  1. Have students read aloud the booklet themselves. Do this in pairs, by going around the classroom with students each reading a page, or as a choral reading of the book.



  1. Play with the new vocabulary:

  • Post-its activity: Give out Post-its. Have students use the Post-its to:

  • Mark their favorite picture in the booklet. (Point out that this is a good activity to do when reading with their young children. Have them choose their favorite picture and explain why they like it or tell the story of the picture.)

  • Find the expressions from the handout List of Verbs and Expressions



  • Play Verb Bingo with the 15 verbs. Write all the verbs on the board. Have students draw a 3x3 grid on a piece of paper. Ask them to choose words from the board to fill in their nine squares, but not to choose them in the order they are written on the board. Give students something to mark their bingo cards with: dried beans, paper clips, buttons, pennies. Begin calling out words from the list, in random order. Make a check mark to remind yourself which words you have already called. When someone has three in a row, they call out Bingo! However, in order to win, that person must be able to correctly use each verb in a sentence. If mistakes are made, the game continues until another Bingo is called and the student correctly uses the three verbs in sentences. Warn students not to take the markers off their cards when a Bingo is first called until it becomes clear whether that person has won or not. If students have been learning the simple past, the Bingo task could be to use the verb in the past tense.





  • Paired Dictations: Dictate the sentences below (or write your own). Each student tries writing the sentence individually, then compares what s/he has written with a partner. Together they make corrections. When they think they have written the sentence correctly, they write it on the board. At the end of the activity, the whole group reviews the sentences and makes corrections together.

  • The father has big dreams for his son.

  • The mother finds books her daughter likes.

  • The father says, “Tell me about the story.”

  • We read before bed every night.

7. To end the activity, review the on-going list of reasons students are generating about why it is so important to read with children. See if they have any new reasons to add to the list.


Handout: List of Verbs and Expressions in Big Dreams


Verbs:
want

help


look

practice


sing

show


go

know


learn

talk


hear

teach


read

listen


find

Expressions
to spend time

reading matters

getting ready for bed

great job

to take turns



ACTIVITY #5: Book Related vocabulary

(Can be used/adapted for use with beginning level students)

Rationale:

If parents are to support their children in reading “a wide variety of texts” as the BPS report card says and be partners in their education at home and at school, it is important to be familiar with basic book related vocabulary. This will allow both parents and their children to choose a variety of books which match their interests and levels and thus become better and more frequent readers.

Student Objectives:


  • Students will understand the meaning of at least 75% of the book related vocabulary presented.

  • Students will be able to give an example of the kinds of books their children like using the new vocabulary.


Materials:

  • A variety of children’s books, collected from a library or elementary classroom, which will serve as examples of the vocabulary in the activity, displayed on a table.

  • Handout: Book Related Vocabulary List

  • Index cards


Activity Outline:


  1. Explain objectives.




  1. Display sample books spread out on a table.




  1. Distribute handout: Book Related Vocabulary List




  1. Read the words over aloud together. Then have students individually mark on their handouts any of the terms they already know. Go over the words one by one. Ask if any students know the word and see if they can define it. Select a book from the sample books collected which you can use to show what the word means.

Example: For the words author and illustrator, choose two picture books, one of which is written and illustrated by the same person (common in children’s books) and the other which has an illustrator distinct from the author. As you explain the meanings, point to the cover of the book and show where it identifies author and illustrator. Explain that if you see only one name, it means the same person both wrote and illustrated the book. Choose another book, hand it out, and have students practice being able to identify the author and illustrator.

Example: For the word series, have three or four books on hand to illustrate what a series is. The Arthur or Curious George books are well known series for pre-school children. The Junie B Jones books are a popular series with 1st and 2nd graders, especially girls. The Diary of a Wimpy kid books are a very popular series with 2nd through 5th graders. In describing what a series is, make sure to distinguish between a series (many books about the same character) and multiple books by the same author, as in the Dr. Seuss or Maurice Sendak books. In either case, recommend that if a parent or child has read one book by a given author and liked it, you might look in the library for another book by that same author.

Example: For the genre poetry, you could show a poetry book by popular kids author Shel Silverstein and read a poem with the class that you have copied. The same poem could be used to demonstrate the word rhyme.


  1. Draw on any materials the class is already familiar with to help explain the terms.

Example: Remember that book on Martin Luther King Jr. we read? Was that a biography or an autobiography? Was it fiction or non-fiction?


  1. Have students fill in the meanings on their handout in their own words or using a familiar example.




  1. Matching game: Hand out index cards, each with one new term on it. Have students try to match their word with an example from the book table and explain their choice to the class. Allow the class to decide whether the student has correctly chosen a book that matches the term on their card. If you are in a classroom or library where books are already grouped in categories, have students try to find other examples from the classroom.




  1. Circle Question: Have students go around in a circle, asking and answering the following question that you have written on the board: What kind of books does your child like best? Tell students the answer should include at least one of the new vocabulary terms. Give an example to clarify: “My daughter likes books with a lot of repetition” or “My son likes chapter books.” You start the game by asking the student on your left the question. She answers the question and then turns to person on her left to ask the same question until you have gone all the way around the circle.


Follow-Up:

  • If you have multiple copies of a children’s book on hand that you have already read or plan to read with students, create a review worksheet in which students refer to that book to answer questions using the new vocabulary, e.g. What year was The Cat in the Hat written? On page 6, what are two words that rhyme?





  • Have students go with their children to the library. Their task is to borrow a non-fiction book on a topic their child is interested in and another book by an author their child has already read and liked. Tell them they can ask the children’s librarian for help.




  • If you are doing a class trip to a library, you can build a scavenger hunt around the word list. See Topic 3, Unit 4: Using the Library.


Handout: Book Related Vocabulary List
Kinds of Children’s Books:

Board books

Picture Books

Chapter Books


Genres of Books: Children and Adults

Fiction


Novels

Non-Fiction

Biography

Autobiography

Poetry

Fairy Tales



Legends/folktales

Nursery Rhymes


Words about Books

Author


Illustrator

Copyright

Series

Character



Rhyme

Repetition



ACTIVITY #6: Asking Open-ended Questions when you Read
Rationale:

It isn’t sufficient to tell students they should ask questions as they read to their children. They need help in formulating open-ended questions which elicit conversations with their children about the stories being read. Also, because forming questions in English is a grammatical nightmare for many, they need to practice writing and asking questions even after they have understood the concept.


Student Objectives:

  • Students will be able to distinguish open-ended from close-ended questions.
  • Students will be able to write open-ended questions related to a children’s book to be used when reading the book aloud with their children.



Materials:

  1. A short picture book for the teacher to read aloud

  2. Multiple copies of a children’s book for class to read together and borrow to take home

  3. Handout: Is it an Open-Ended or a Close-Ended Question?

  4. Handout: Question Chart


Activity Outline:


    1. Explain objectives.




    1. Opening discussion: What is an open-ended question? Remind students it is important to ask questions and talk about the book when they read with their children. Write the phrase “open ended questions” on board. Ask students to guess what that means. The easiest way to explain is to say that open ended questions have no right or wrong answer. They can’t be answered in a single word. Write down some examples of open-ended questions:




  • Looking at the cover and title: What do you think this book is about?

  • How do you think _________ feels? Did you ever feel that way?

  • What is your favorite picture in the book? Why?

Go over each one to show how there is no one answer to the question. Open-ended questions encourage children to express their own opinions. They help children develop their language skills and critical thinking skills. They help children learn how to have a conversation about a book (or a TV show or a movie).




    1. Contrast open-ended questions with close-ended questions. These do have a right answer and can be answered in a single word. Write down some examples of close-ended questions:




  • How many ducks do you see on this page?

  • What sound does a cow make?

  • Where does Jose live?

Point out that we use close ended questions more when reading to very young children to help them practice things they are learning like colors or counting.

4. Divide the class into two groups. Make strips out of the handout: Is it an Open-Ended or Close-Ended Question? Put the strips in two baskets. Each group gets its own set. Have students take turns selecting a strip, reading the question aloud, and deciding whether it is an open-ended or a close-ended question. Allow other students in the group to decide whether their classmate has gotten it correct.
5. Do an animated read aloud of a short picture book. Model asking questions as you go along. Stop every couple of pages and have parents write down the question(s) you have asked. Tell them not to worry about their spelling.
6. When you finish the book, have students read back to you the questions you asked. Write these on the board, correcting the grammar, spelling, etc. For each question, have students decide whether it is an open-ended or close ended question.
7. Distribute multiple copies of a short children’s book that is an appropriate level for the class. Read it aloud as students follow along on their own copies. Ask occasional questions and pause to explain unfamiliar vocabulary.
8. With intermediate students, divide them into pairs and hand out the question charts. Explain that they should read the book together with their partner and stop after each page (or some number of pages) to write together a question that they could ask their children when reading to them. Circulate to assist with correctly formulating the questions.
9. With the whole group, ask each pair to share one open-ended question they have written and write it on the board.
10. Have parents take the book and their questions charts home and read the book aloud to their children, using some of the questions they have written. Point out that they shouldn’t ask a question on every page because it would interrupt the story too much. Instead, they might want to ask four or five open-ended questions during the course of reading the story.

Handout: Is it an Open-Ended or a Close-Ended Question?
How many ducks do you see?

What is your favorite picture in the book? Why?

Why do you think the very hungry caterpillar is so hungry?

Why does Lola like going to the library so much?

Who brings George back from Africa with him?

What color is the bear’s sweater?

What do you think is going to happen next?

Does anything in the story remind you of something that happened to you?

What is this called?

Can you find a boat, a truck and a taxi in this picture?

Who is your favorite character in the Arthur books? Why?

What noise does a sheep make?




Handout: Question Chart1

Questions to Accompany _________________________________________

Name of Book




PAGE

QUESTION

COVER























































































ACTIVITY #7: Review—Writing Book Reports

(Can be used/adapted for use with beginning level students)
Rationale:

Writing a book report that asks students to utilize the content learned in the previous activities provides a valuable review.


Student Objectives:

  • Students will use Reading Tips from Activity #2 in reading to their children.

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of book related vocabulary from Activity #5.

  • Students will ask open-ended questions in reading to their children.


Materials:

  • Handout: Book Review Form

  • A variety of children’s books


Activity Outline:


  1. Explain objectives.



  1. Distribute the Handout: Book Review Form and go over it slowly with the class. For beginning level students, the form can be shortened to require less writing. Explain that students will choose a children’s book from the collection you have gathered. If the program doesn’t have enough books, you could borrow some from a local library. They will read it at home to one of their children, and then will fill out the Book Review Form. Have on hand copies of the Reading Tips students practiced in Activity #2 and the Book Related Vocabulary List they used in Activity #5 to review with them as you go over the Handout. Re-visit the concept of open-ended questions from the previous activity by eliciting examples, or giving them yourself and having students decide whether or not the question is open-ended.





  1. Have students choose the book they want to read with their child and then write about. After they have chosen a book, ask students to describe why they chose that particular book.




  1. Set a due date for the completed book reviews.




  1. When students bring in their completed reviews, have them report orally on their book, using the answers they have written down, and showing the book to their classmates. Depending on class size, this can be done with the whole group, in small groups, or with a partner. Before they begin, model an oral report yourself so students understand what is expected.



Handout: Book Review Form2

Title





Author





Illustrator






Copyright Date







Summary






Characters






Kind of Book






Genre Book







Examples of Rhymes





Examples of Repetition







What reading tips did you use when you read this book with your child?








How did your child respond to the reading tips you used?








What open-ended questions did you ask when you read this book with your child?







What did your child like about this book?







ACTIVITY #8: USING CHILREN’S BOOKS AS CLASSROOM TEXTS

(Can be used/adapted for use with beginning level students)
Rationale:

Adult education teachers sometimes feel wary of using children’s books as texts with their classes because they don’t want to infantilize their students in any way. However, everyone loves good children’s books, and especially for ESOL students, the pictures, the humor, the repetition, and the simpler vocabulary make them very accessible. When teachers read children’s books with their students, they can model how parents can engage their children in meaningful conversations about books and help their children learn to love to read.


Materials:
  • Multiple copies of whatever children’s books you are choosing, at least enough for every two students, but ideally enough for the class. Scholastic is a good place to order inexpensive children’s books. Alternately, one can zerox copies, project the book, or hand out typed transcripts.


  • Handout: Book Report Form


Activity Outline:
Note to Teachers: There are many equally wonderful children’s books to read and many different ways a teacher can use children’s books in a class. Here three different approaches will be suggested: 1) using part of a class every week to read a different short picture book which students then take home to read with their children; 2) doing an author’s study over the course of seven or eight classes; and 3) deep reading and discussing of one book, chosen for its resonance with parents, around which skills are taught and parents learn how to engage with literature. As each of the three approaches is described, one particular book or author will be used to illustrate the approach. These books have been chosen as examples. It isn’t to say you should use these books, although of course you are welcome to and will have some ready made class materials. Choose the approach you want to try and select whatever book(s) you think will be most appropriate and most enjoyable for your class. In the next unit, Using the Library, the final activity includes bibliographies of appropriate children’s books.
Approach #1: Reading a number of different short children’s books over the course of your program year
Student Objectives: Students will be exposed to a variety of children’s texts and experience the pleasure for themselves and their children that comes from reading children’s books. At the same time, they will build vocabulary and reading fluency.


  1. Read the book aloud so students hear the whole story read in a way that engages them and would engage their children. Discuss new vocabulary words in context and pose questions as you go along. Always ask whether they liked the book and whether their children would like it and why.


  1. Have students take turns reading the book aloud or divide them in pairs to read to each other.




  1. Give students some questions to answer or tasks to do with the text designed to deepen their understanding of it. For example, after reading the classic Madeleine, by Ludwig Bemelmans, students were given the following cloze exercise the teacher developed:




MADELEINE
In an old house in ______
that was covered with vines
lived twelve little girls in two straight ______.
In two ____________lines they broke their bread
And _________their teeth
And went ___________.
They smiled at the good
And frowned at the bad
And _______they were very _____.
They left the ________at half past nine
In two straight lines
In rain or ___________.
The ___________one was Madeleine.



lines
straight
Paris
to bed
brushed
sad
shine

sometimes

smallest

house



Having done previously Activity #5, Book Related Vocabulary, students can review those concepts in the context of Madeleine:


Madeleine and Using Children’s Book Vocabulary

1. Who is the author of Madeleine?________________________

2. Who is the illustrator of Madeleine?____________________

3. Give one example of a rhyme in Madeleine (write the two rhyming words).

4. Is Madeleine a book which uses repetition to tell the story? Yes or No

5. Copy down one phrase in Madeleine which repeats.____________________

6. Is Madeleine a picture book or chapter book? ____________________

7. Who is the main character in Madeleine?________________________



  1. Have the group come up with some open-ended questions they could ask their children as they read this particular book. Remind them that open-ended questions cannot be answered with a Yes or a No. List these on the board and have parents copy them.




  1. Do partner role plays with the book in which one student is the parent and the other the child, adopting perhaps the name and age of the reader’s actual child. Encourage “the parent” to ask questions of “their child.” Circulate as the pairs are doing the role plays to coach and help with pronunciation.




  1. Homework: Loan parents the book to take home to read and talk about with their children. Remind them that young children like to hear the same book over and over and that reading it more than once will also be good for practicing their English. Suggest that if they have children who are already readers, that child can read the book to them, and they can talk about it. Or they can read the book to the child and have the child help them with their pronunciation. Have intermediate students fill out the Handout: Book Report Form after reading the book with their child.



Handout: Family Reading Book Report Form3

Title: I read _______________________________________ with my child.

(Write down the title of the book)
What happened when you read this book with your child? Consider the following:


  • Things you said about the pictures or the story

  • Questions you asked

  • Things your child said

  • Questions your child asked

  • What you think your child was learning or practicing

  • What you think your child liked about the book

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Approach #2: Doing an Author Study: Maurice Sendak

Note to Teachers: This approach is used in and adapted from the Chelsea Intergenerational Literacy Program directed by Barbara Kroll-Sinclair. They typically do two author studies each year and use the same format each time. Over the course of approximately eight classes, students read a different book by the same author each class, learn biographical information about the author, and write a letter to the author. The program orders one or two copies of each book that will be read so students can see the book, but because they can’t afford to buy multiple copies of each book, illustrations from the books are projected using the Elmo projector, Smart Board or Overheads and students are given typed transcripts of the texts to read.
The materials below are adapted versions of lesson plans from the Chelsea Intergenerational Literacy Program’s Maurice Sendak Author Study, done in the fall of 2011 (before he passed away). They provide an example of how to do an Author’s Study. All materials mentioned will be included at the end of the description of the Author Study classes.
Learning objectives for Author Study: Students will read and comprehend a variety of

Children’s books by Maurice Sendak. They will connect the author to the text by noting which elements of his life are reflected in the books. They will practice reading books aloud in order to read with their children, connecting oral words with print and building reading fluency. They will evaluate books they read and articulate which are their favorites and least favorites. They will write to the author, sharing their thoughts on his books.


Class #1: Chicken Soup With Rice, by Maurice Sendak

Materials: Several copies of the book; copies of the transcript of book text; Carole King singing Chicken Soup with Rice, YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNBzJlpwChU



  1. Introduce the author study by showing various Maurice Sendak books and check on student background knowledge. Has anyone heard of Sendak or his books? If so, what do they think of his work?




  1. Show students the cover of Chicken Soup with Rice and have them guess what the book is about. Generate of list of student predictions.




  1. Introduce key vocabulary: laps, concocting, pepped, gusty gale, baubled, bangled




  1. Do an oral read aloud, with students following the transcripts. Before each section, pause to talk about the month. What do students associate, for example, with the month of March? Which month is their favorite?




  1. Have students read orally in pairs. Point out that it is a rhyming book so they should try to emphasize the rhymes as they’re reading aloud.




  1. Challenge: have each student practice reading his/her favorite month with as much expression as possible for the rest of the group.




  1. Writing: have students write briefly in their journals about whether they like the book or not, and why. Would they read it with their children? Why or why not? Do they have a favorite part of the book? What is it?




  1. Wrap up and Reflection: Look at list of predictions. Were any correct? Take a class poll on whether students like the book or not. List reasons on the board.




  1. End class playing the audio of Carole King singing Chicken Soup with Rice.


Class #2: Maurice Sendak biography

Materials: Copy of one page biography, transcript of Terry Gross interview. Audio link to same section of interview-- http://www.npr.org/2011/12/29/144077273/maurice-sendak-on-life-death-and-childrens-lit.



  1. Opening question: Is there anything you learned about Sendak from reading Chicken Soup with Rice? Try to elicit he is both the writer and the illustrator.




  1. Group brainstorm: What do you want to know about him? List on board.




  1. Do oral read aloud of biography (see attached) after writing and explaining key vocabulary on the board: illustrated, idolizing, self taught, pop culture, stage designer.




  1. Re-read biography orally in pairs. For additional practice, do echo reading, stopping after each sentence to discuss.




  1. After reading, focus on what they learned about Sendak and what they still want to know.




  1. Introduce audio transcript, saying they will be able to hear him in a radio interview in September 2012. Play clip, having students follow along on their own copies. Then play it again and instruct students to close their eyes and just listen. Play it a third time and have students follow the text again. Small groups or pairs discuss what new things they have learned about Sendak.




  1. Writing Activity: Students do individual KWL charts (Know, Want to Know, Learned).Then do a whole group KWL chart.




  1. Listen to Carole King singing Chicken Soup With Rice again. (See link to video in Activity #1.) Students can follow along on their transcripts of the book.


Class #3: Where the Wild Things Are

Materials: Book copies and transcript of Where the Wild Things Are; illustrations from the book.



  1. Review what has been learned about Sendak.




  1. Introduce Where the Wild Things Are. It is his most famous book and won the Caldecott medal in 1964. Go over key vocabulary: mischief, gnashed, tamed, rumpus.




  1. Read book aloud, with students following on their transcripts. Connect text with pictures. Stop as appropriate to discuss vocabulary and talk about students reactions to the book.




  1. Re-read book orally in pairs.




  1. Additional support: do echo reading, emphasizing the rhythm and flow of the words.




  1. Writing activity: have students write briefly in their journals about whether they like the book or not, and why. Would they read it with their children? Why or why not? Do they have a favorite part of the book? What is it?




  1. Take a class poll on whether students like or don’t like the book and why. Lists poll results and reasons on the board.




  1. Ask students if they will read this book with their children and write results on board. Ask what kinds of strategies they will use when reading this book with their children. List these on the board.

10. Optional: Listen to Carole King song again. Encourage parents to sing along.


Class #4: Alligators All Around
Materials: Book copies and transcript of text; Carole King singing Alligators All Around http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3DRUJUWgOA


  1. Review what students know about Sendak from previous days.


  1. Introduce Alligators All Around. Review the front cover and introduce terms “frontispiece”, “title page”, and “dedication page”. Show enlargement of the pictures form the cover and ask that students think the book might be about.





  1. Key Vocabulary: imitating, quarrelsome, tantrums, vain. Point out that there are many unusual words in this book.




  1. Read book aloud, with students following on their transcripts. Pause as appropriate to discuss vocabulary, connect illustrations with text and discuss student reactions to the book.




  1. Re-read book orally in pairs.




  1. Additional support: do echo reading with emphasis on pronunciation of words and connection with the pictures.




  1. Challenge: have students add in additional alphabetically and thematically appropriate words for each letter, just for fun.




  1. Writing activity: have students write briefly in their journals about whether they like the book or not, and why. Would they read it with their children? Why or why not? Do they have a favorite part of the book? What is it?




  1. Wrap up: Take a class poll on whether students like or don’t like the book and why. Lists poll results and reasons on the board. Ask students if they will read this book with their children and write results on board. Ask what kinds of strategies they will use when reading this book with their children. List these on the board.



  1. Play Carole King version of song of Alligators All Around, with students following on their transcripts.

Class #5: In the Night Kitchen

Materials: Copies of the book and transcript of text; illustrations from the book.


  1. Review what students know about Sendak from previous days.




  1. Introduce In the Night Kitchen, pointing out it was/is quite controversial (because the little boy is naked in the story) and was a Caldecott Honor Book. It was banned in many places, like school libraries. Tell students to think about their own opinions of the book as they read it. Is it good? Bad? What do they like or dislike about the book? Why? Should it be banned? Should any book be banned?




  1. Key Vocabulary: racket, chanting, dawn, batter, dough.




  1. Read book aloud with students following on their transcripts. Stop as appropriate to discuss vocabulary, connect illustrations with text, and talk about learners’ reactions to the book—especially when Mickey falls out of his pajamas.




  1. Re-read book orally in pairs.




  1. Additional support: Follow the same pattern, but with echo reading, with heavy emphasis on rhythm and flow and connection with pictures.




  1. Challenge: After reading through the book, have students discuss censorship and this book. Would they read this with their children or not?




  1. Writing activity: have students write briefly in their journals about whether they like the book or not, and why. Would they read it with their children? Why or why not? Do they have a favorite part of the book? If so, what?



  1. Wrap up: Take a class poll on whether students like or don’t like the book and why. Lists poll results and reasons on the board. Ask students if they will read this book with their children and write results on board. Ask what kinds of strategies they will use when reading this book with their children. List these on the board.



Class #6: Pierre
Materials: Book copies and transcript of text; Carole King singing Pierre (choose from several You Tube versions.


  1. Review what students know about Sendak from previous days.




  1. Introduce Pierre by talking about child behavior and having students brainstorm examples of misbehavior. As with Alligators all Around, review terms “frontispiece”, “title page”, and “dedication age”. Show enlargements of pictures from cover and these pages and ask students what they think the book might be about. Point out the book is in several small chapters and ask students to think about why.




  1. Introduce key vocabulary: prologue, suitable, bother, dreadful.




  1. Read aloud, with students following with their own copies of the text. Stop as appropriate to discuss vocabulary, connect illustrations with text and talk about students’ reactions to the book.




  1. Re-read the book orally in pairs.




  1. Additional support: Do echo reading, with emphasis on pronunciation and connection with pictures.




  1. Writing activity: have students write briefly in their journals about whether they like the book or not, and why. Would they read it with their children? Why or why not? Do they have a favorite part of the book? If so, what?



  1. Wrap up: Take a class poll on whether students like or don’t like the book and why. Lists poll results and reasons on the board. Ask students if they will read this book with their children and write results on board. Ask what kinds of strategies they will use when reading this book with their children. List these on the board.



Activity #7:Writing Letters to Maurice Sendak
Materials: Copies of Sendak books for perusal; program letterhead; Ideas for Your Letters sheet


  1. Introduce letter writing. Explain that students will write a letter to Maurice Sendak. Review the format for letter writing with a model on the board. Remind students to include date, salutation, body of letter, closing and signature.




  1. Key vocabulary: greeting, introduction, indent, paragraph, closing, signature.




  1. Brainstorm what information students can include in their letters and what questions they might like to ask Sendak. Remind students that: letters do not have to be long; they should include some personal information; they should tell about the books they have read and/or liked and have shared with their children. They should include at least one question for the author.




  1. Handout and review Ideas for Letters sheet.




  1. Explain that students will write a draft of their letter in their notebooks. After the teacher has checked it for spelling, punctuation, etc. they will then copy it over on program letterhead.




  1. As students finish their letters, they can choose Sendak books to read to aloud to one another in a different part of the room.




  1. Additional support: for lower level students, they can dictate sentences to the teacher/tutors and then copy those sentences once the teacher has written them down.




  1. Wrap up: Ask students to share their letters with the class.



Transcripts and Handouts

Author Study on Maurice Sendak

The Chelsea Intergenerational Literacy Project

Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months

By Maurice Sendak
January
In January it's so nice
while slipping on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Sipping once, sipping twice,
sipping chicken soup with rice.

February
In February it will be
my snowman's anniversary
with cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once, happy twice,
happy chicken soup with rice.

March
In March the wind blows down the door
and spills my soup upon the floor.
It laps it up and roars for more.
Blowing once, blowing twice,
blowing chicken soup with rice

April
In April I will go away
to far off Spain or old Bombay
and dream about hot soup all day.
Oh, my, oh, once, oh, my, oh, twice,
oh, my, oh, chicken soup with rice.

May
In May I truly think it best
to be a robin lightly dressed
concocting soup inside my nest.
Mix it once, mix it twice,
mix that chicken soup with rice.

June
In June I saw a charming group
of roses all begin to droop.
I pepped them up with chicken soup!
Sprinkle once, sprinkle twice,
sprinkle chicken soup with rice.

July
In July I'll take a peep
into the cool and fishy deep
where chicken soup is selling cheap,
Selling once, selling twice,
selling chicken soup with rice.

August
In August it will be so hot
I will become a cooking pot
Cooking soup of course. Why not?
Cooking once, cooking twice,
cooking chicken soup with rice.

September
In September for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soupy Nile.
Paddle once, paddle twice,
paddle chicken soup with rice.

October
In October I'll be host
to witches, goblins and a ghost.
I'll serve them chicken soup on toast.
Whoopy once, whoopy twice,
whoopy chicken soup with rice.

November
In November's gusty gale I will flop my flippy tail
And spout hot soup.

I'll be a whale!


Spouting once, spouting twice,
Spouting chicken soup with rice.

December
In December I will be
A baubled bangled Christmas tree
With soup bowls draped all over me.
Merry once, merry twice
Merry chicken soup with rice.

I told you once, I told you twice.
All seasons of the year are nice
For eating chicken soup with rice


Maurice Sendak Biography

Maurice Sendak has illustrated more than a hundred picture books throughout his 60-year career.  Some of his best known books include Chicken Soup with Rice, Where the Wild Things Are, and In the Night Kitchen.  Born in Brooklyn in 1928 to Jewish immigrant parents from northern Poland, Sendak grew up idolizing the storytelling abilities of his father, Philip, and his big brother, Jack—as a child he illustrated his first stories on shirt cardboard provided by his tailor-father.  Aside from a few night classes in art after graduating high school, Sendak is a largely self-taught artist.  Throughout his career, he has taken characters, stories, and inspirations from his among his own neighbors, family, pop culture, historical sources, and long-held childhood memories.  Sendak began a second career as a costume and stage designer in the late 1970s, designing operas by Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky, among others.  He has won numerous awards as both an artist and illustrator, including a Caldecott Award, a Newberry Medal, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, a National Book Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and a National Medal of Arts.   His books continue to be read by millions of children and adults and have been translated into dozens of languages and enjoyed all over the world. 






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