There are two rather new books and an old favorite that I'm recommending this month as must-haves for your collection, or at least to check out from your local library and read to your children!
November’s New Book Recommendations:
It’s the story of the pilgrims. From their start on the Mayflower to their Thanksgiving celebration with the Indians.
Why I love it:
- Finally, a book that tells a bit of history in an easy to understand way so that my Y5’s can grasp it. I loved the factual information presented in a brief telling of the tale. Just enough to hit the main points.
- Ms. Lloyd’s artwork is realistic, so that it fits the story and gives a wonderfully graphic presentation of what life was like back then, yet the colorful illustrations still captivate a young child.
- I love the rhyming text. I know that’s extremely hard to do and I appreciate it all the more when telling a bit of history because it holds my little one’s attention. I also like to pause when reading, so that they can fill in the next rhyming word. Her choice of words made this relatively easy for them to do.
- Because we teach in the public schools we have to be careful sharing our Christian beliefs. The pilgrims came to the new world because of religious persecution. Their faith in God was very important to them. A big part of Thanksgiving was that they were grateful to God for seeing them through and blessing them. I liked that Ms. Shore’s work showed this in her repetitive line: “Thanks be to God for …”
- I’m thankful this book came along! Its rhythmic-lyrical verse makes it fun to read and the lovely illustrations are the exclamation point to the entire wonderfully written piece.
- You can check Diane out on her website at www.dianezshore.com & visit Megan online at www.meganlloyd.com
- Click here for Scholastic's teacher's guide for this great book!
#2 T Is For Turkey
By Tanya Lee Stone Click on the link for Tanya's site
Illustrated by Gerald Kelley
Price Stern Sloan $4.99
The Gist: It’s an alphabet book that’s told in the form of a play so that you can learn about the history of Thanksgiving. At the end of the book is a short informational blurb that’s the complete story of Thanksgiving; great for a newsletter.
Why I love it:
- The characters of the play are children. Mr. Kelley, the illustrator, draws them in a cartoon-like fashion that’s appealing to children.
- The letters of the alphabet are bolded and are a different color than the regular black text so that they pop out at the audience. The word that the letter depicts is also in that color.
- The text rhymes. Because I teach 4 & 5 year olds I LOVE rhyming books. They are fun to read and rhyming is one of our report card standards. Letters are too, so I’m nailing several things here with one story. Again, I pause so that my student can fill in the rhyming word, and because of Tanya’s easy word choices, this was relatively simple for my Y5’s to do.
- There were enough words to add a bit of historical information about Thanksgiving as well.
- It’s a nice big size yet less than $5.
- It’s a quick read and will hold a young child’s attention at the same time reviewing quite a few of the things they need to know! Just a fun way to learn a bit more about Thanksgiving.
- I have an adorable stuffed turkey that I put in the dove pan.
- I Xerox off the cover of T is for Turkey, put it in the pan and produce the turkey.
- He asks the children if they know the letters of the alphabet. Can they sing the ABC song?
- I put a little paper turkey into my change bag with the number 26 on it and pull out a string of uppercase letters written on the little turkeys. Since the story only shows uppercase letters, I stick with reviewing them. Click here to make your own turkey string.
- We then sing the ABC song. I have a laser that lights up and I choose a child to use it as a pointer. They point to the letters above our chalkboard as we sing them.
November’s Book Of The Month: An Old Favorite!
I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie
By Alison Jackson Clcik on the link for Alison's site.
Illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner
Puffin Books $6.99
Gist: It’s a take off of I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. This is a Thanksgiving version where a skinny old woman starts out by swallowing a pumpkin pie and continues to devour the entire meal! With every mouthful she grows more enourmous ‘til she finally “floats” out the door to join the Thanksgiving Day parade!
Why I love it:
- I collect various versions of the original and I so enjoyed a Thanksgiving twist! I read the “Fly” one 1st when we study spiders in October, so it’s great to follow up that favorite with another in November. It gives me an opportunity to have a math extension by graphing which story my students like best. I've included a graph in the "Little Old Lady Fun" printables below.
- I LOVE the ending! We have a mini discussion of who watches the parade and what their favorite balloon is.
- In all the various versions of this folktale I’ve never seen the little old lady getting fatter. Judith’s illustrations are hilarious. My students giggle at how big she’s growing and I like that visual concept. Anyone eating all that ought to get bigger!
- She simply does a great job putting a new twist on an old favorite. There aren’t that many Thanksgiving books out there that hold a Y5’s attention that are a quick read. This is one of my favorites because of that.
Art Project/Game: Feed The Cornucopia. For more easy and adorable Fall art projects check out my November Art & Activitiy Book, Turkey Art & Activity Book, or my Scarecrow Art & Activity Book for oodles of FUN!
Click here for directions & templates
Skills Sheets: Click here for some Little Old Lady fun.
Story Telling Tips:
- I have done this several ways. I own the Little Old Lady puppet and sometimes haul her back out to use again, (We feed her the pieces.) or I simply use my laminated pieces on my flannel board so that we can sequence them again after the story. Here's how:
- I bought an extra book, laminated the pieces that my Little Old Lady was eating, cut them out and put a piece of Velcro on the back. Any piece that was on the back of the page, I made a color copy of on my printer.
- I passed the pieces out to my students. When we came to that “food” in the story, that child came up and fed the puppet, or put that piece on my flannel board.
- After the story, we reviewed what she ate, I re-passed out all of the pieces and we tried to sequence them again. My students really do a pretty good job with this.
- I have my students further participate by repeating any repetitive line in the story like: “I don’t know why she swallowed the pie…” etc.
- I sprinkle some cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice in my dove pan, I put the lid on and produce a big piece of pumpkin pie. Some of my students have never tasted pumpkin pie! I have enough plastic spoons to give everyone a little taste.
- I LOVE "The Little Old Lady" spin-off's, and have quite a collection. In fact, I've written some of my own, complete with an old lady you can easily print off and laminate. Your students will enjoy "stuffing" her with letters, shapes, colors, numbers, and even the months of the year! Click on the link to see my collection of Little Old Lady booklets.
Click here for the NOVEMBER BIBLIOGRAPHY of BOOKS
Be sure and check all of the FREE easy readers for this month in the article after this one!