Summer Reading Fun!
If you haven't checked out the main blog and heard about LiveBinders you might want to give it a "look see".
I discovered it yesterday and had a nice time perusing other people's binders filled with wonderful suggestions of what they found were helpful websites.
One mom put together a lovely binder filled with summer reading tips. (A Fabulous Find!)
So if you're looking for some super suggestions for your little ones click on the link and check out her beautiful summer reading binder
My fondest memory of summer is time spent with my grandma Lydia up north at her cabin in Eagle River Wisconsin.
One of the fun things we used to do was pick raspberries. Grama said we had to sing songs loudly and stomp around so that we'd scare away any black bears that might be hungry.
We never saw any, so we must have done a good job. Even tho' we brought along pails, we rarely had anything left to tote home, as we had a hard time not eating the delicious red ripe berries that literally plopped into our hands when we touched the prickly branches.
Thus, my book pick for this month is Up North at the Cabin, although, another cute book you could read that has to do with berries is Jamberry by Bruce Degen!
A young girl goes up to her grandparents cabin to spend some time with them during the summer.
Why I LOVE It:
Chall conjures up special thoughts of my favorite childhood memories, and although she is writing about a lake in Minnesota it could be a cabin located just about anywhere and certainly "painted pictures" in my mind of special summers up north in Wisconsin.
Her adept use of language brings to life the local flora and fauna as viewed through the eyes of a young city girl..."a moose stands like a house on stilts..." and "cabins are built with logs like pretzels." There is no real story line, you just flow through this young vacationer's sweet summer as she baits her fishing pole with "peanut butter and worm sandwiches", canoes "through the wilderness" seeming to hear the drums of the long since silenced Indian drums or thrills at slicing through the "silver waves" while waterskiing.
The textured oil paintings by Steve Johnson add to the lazy-hazy days of summer, suggesting past and shadowed memories, a recollection of quiet times and the mysteries deep within the cool woods that will warm her when "frosted windows cloud the sun." All of this happily takes you into the book, especially if you too have enjoyed and savored these same special moments as I have.
The other reason I love it, is my daughter Kelli bought me this book while she was on a class trip.
Photo of Marsha Wilson Chall compliments of her website. Click on the link to check it out.
Before you begin the story, tell the children to close their eyes and picture their favorite place to go for the summer. Then have them open their eyes and toss a beach ball or some other summery object and whoever is holding it gets to share their favorite place to go.
Show a map of the United States and ask the students where their state is. Now ask them if anyone knows where Minnesota is, then show them where the state is and tell them a little bit about it.
Ask the children what they think "sunnies" are on the page that's across from the picture where the family is eating. I thought the author was referring to eggs sunny side up, but she contacted me and told me that they are sunfish!
The paintings are just lovely in this book. Choose 3 to 5 and ask the children which is their favorite and why they chose it. My personal favorite is the one where the girl is on the dock in her bathing suit. She is looking out at the sparkling water. I often did that as a little girl. I love the way the sun shines like diamonds glittering on the water.
Ask for a show of hands to see how many children have gone to a cabin or a lake. You can graph these results as well as several other things in the book. Click on the link for the graphs.
Using a change bag, I show the children that it is empty. I pass out several worms. I ask them what they think will come out of the bag. We say the magic words: Happy summer vacation! or Up North at the Cabin and I produce a fish puppet that helps me do whatever I want him to do like introduce the story, or review parts of the book etc.
Minnesota is known for the loons that cry out with their haunting calls especially in the evening. I bought one of the Audubon stuffed birds that make bird sounds. I put it in my Red Box or you can also use a duck pan.
I show the children that the box/pan is empty, I sprinkle in some silver glitter, shut the box/put the lid on; we all call out like a loon and then I produce the stuffed bird who answers our call when I squeeze it.
Make an Our Summer Class Book where your students trace and complete the sentences: My favorite place to go for the summer is... and My favorite thing to do during the summer is... Click on the link to view/print a copy to make with your class/child.
Art Project: Run off a copy of my master of a log cabin. Make a sample so that you can show your students how to cut the door so that it opens and shuts.
To make it more of keepsake, take a photo of your students wearing summer attire, print them off and have them glue "themselves" inside the cabin, coming out of the door.
Students should write "_____________'s cabin" on the line above the door. If you want, you can have children glue skinny pretzel sticks to the lines on their cabin as the simile described cabins in the story.
Click on the link to view/print the log cabin pattern.
Skill Sheets: I've designed 6 fun skill sheets that incorporate different standards and skill levels, themed around the story. Click on the link to view/print them.
Bibliography: Sorry there is no bibliography for July. I haven't taught summer school for a while now, but do check the awesome binder mentioned above for some great summer selections!
Whatever you're reading this summer I hope you have a relaxing time doing it!
Be sure and check out the FREE Easy Readers for July in the article that follows.