I don't have a big list of books for summer because we usually let out the first week of June depending on snow days. Sometimes we go to the second week of June, as is the case for this year; we are out the 10th.
I don't want to forget Father's Day, so I make sure we take a day to cover that, with some stories, making time to whip a gift together as well.
My students are always too excited about anything we make to tuck it away and save it, so I know that they will give it to their dad's as soon as they arrive home.
In this changing world, I make sure that everyone has a daddy so no one feels left out. If they don't, I adapt things to suit the child's home life.
One of my favorite Father's Day books is...
Title: My Daddy and Me (I was surprised to find out that there are quite a few books out there with this title.)
Author: Amy Sklansky
Illustrator: Ard Hoyt
Daddies and children play through the seasons in this simple story of love between parent and child. Drawings of all different kinds of fathers and children accompany a simple text.
Why I Like It:
It's a great way to teach description and metaphor: "We go together like honey and bees, like peanut butter and jelly, like hide and seek. Whatever the weather, we go together."
There are 4 or 5 different sets of fathers and children. The children are both girls and boys so that all of my students can relate.
They do different things around the various seasons, like a picnic, a day at the beach, camping, raking leaves, splashing in the rain, skating in the winter park and just being together, so it's a nice review of the seasons and different things you can do during them.
The illustrations are a classic pen and ink style, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's work. He's one of my favorite artists because of the "old-fashioned real-world" America he tried to capture. I feel this kind of "happy-joy" from Ard Hoyt's illustrations as well.
Story Telling Tips: Have a discussion before you read the book. Ask your students what is their favorite thing that they do with their daddies, what do they like best about their dads? Explain as simply as possible what a metaphor is. When you are reading, pause before you read the rest of the metaphor and see if they can fill in the rest of the comparison: "We go together like peanut butter and _____________."
Writing Extension: Have children complete their own page and illustrate it. My daddy and I go together like _____________ and _______________. Tell them you'd like them to be original and think of something special and not use any of the metaphors that were used in the book. Collect the pages and make a class My Daddy and Me book. Click on the link to view/print a sample page for your students to fill out.
Amy Sklansky has a wonderful website with teaching aids including writing extensions for this book. Check it out by clicking on the link.
Art Activity: This book makes a nice Father's Day gift. I often buy a "kiddie-lit" book about fathers, for my son Jason to read to my grandsons Jeremiah, Gabriel and Joshua. It's also nice to make a homemade card. I like to have my students include coupons as a fun tuck-in. Click on the link to view/print the masters. Daddy Card & Coupons
Magic Trick: I show the children that the dove pan is empty. We toss a yellow paper bee into the pan. I put the lid on. The children say: "My daddy and me go together like bees and honey." I take the lid off and a small jar of honey is inside. We later have teddy grahams and honey for our snack.
You could do the same with peanut butter and jelly if you wanted to, or you could produce the Reese's Pieces that look like M&M's.
As I've said before, I incorporate magic in my teaching as a method to grab students' attention, introduce literature, teach all sorts of subjects, report card standards, and vocabulary words. Click on the link to view some magic videos.
For a list of other books I read for June, click on the link to view/print a copy of my bibliography for this month. Bibliography for June
Picture of Amy Sklansky from Amazon.com
I hope you make time to escape and relax with a good book when school is out.
Happy reading! Have a super summer soaking up the sunshine.