First up the The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman. It's a sweet story about Fish and Snail, two friends who live in a book together. Fish is adventurous and leaves the book to go visit other books, and comes home each day to Snail, who doesn't want to ever leave the safety of the book, and shares the stories. Both the friendship and Snail's courage are tested when Fish wants Snail to come with him and the two have an argument causing Fish to leave in a huff. Will Snail work up the courage to leave the book and go after Fish? You'll have to read it to find out . . .
This book so beautifully conveys the message that reading is the doorway to all kinds of adventures, that I plan to use it as my first Readers' Workshop mini-lesson to help answer the question, "Why do we read?" I thought a cute follow up would be to have the kids write (draw) about the kind of book they think Fish and Snail should visit next. This is a book that can be read over and over again, and it lends itself nicely to lessons on friendship, courage and taking risks.
This next book made me squeal. In the middle of the bookstore. Loudly. Written by Tad Hills, the author of How Rocket Learned to Read and Rocket Writes a Story this new book, Rocket's Mighty Words completes a literary hat trick - big score! Kindergarten gold! The book isn't a story exactly, but more a collection of words. Each page is marvelously labeled - one page labels parts of Rocket (nose, tail), one page labels the things around him (cloud, flowers) and one page labels the things Rocket is doing (wag, dig). This book totally screams, "Use me for a beginning of the year lesson on labeling!" So I will. Hence the loud squeal in the bookstore. Since a lot of the kids won't be ready to write their own labels yet, I made and cut-and-paste follow up activity. The first letter of the word is on the handout for a clue to help the kids label the dog. (There is also a version with no clues for differentiation.)
The last book on tap for tonight is Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo. Annie, who wears her superhero cape to school the first day, struggles with her teacher's "Gold Star" rules. By the end of the day, Annie is making gold star choices and even saves the day! I thought this would be a great read aloud for the first week of school.
I hope you enjoy this bunch of ideas! If there are any new books that you think I need to add to my pile, let me know!
On another note, I'm looking for a little help. I just finished the Alphabet Emergent Reader Library that I've been working on. There's a large book, a student reader and pocket chart cards for each letter, so it's been quite a project. Now that I'm done, I'm a little cross-eyed and would love 2 or 3 proofreaders who would be willing to look over the books before I post them on TPT. If you can help me out and would be able to get back to me with feedback by Wednesday, I'll send you a completed set for free when they're finished!
Have a great night!