Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Week's Literary Quote . . .

I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.  ~Voltaire

 Here are some great books that make me happy!

Mo Willems reads aloud from We Are In A Book (an Elephant & Piggie book)!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NYSRA Community Day Literacy Event

If you are in the conference area on Sunday October 29, please stop by for a visit!
New York State Reading Association presents . . .

Community Day: Literacy: Charlotte Awards & Beyond!
Holiday Inn
Liverpool, NY
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Ellen Mouillesseaux and I will be hosting . . .

On the Loose with Mother Goose: Early Literacy Through Nursery Rhymes

Off to NYSRA!

New York State Reading Association Conference 2012

Literacy: Common Core and Beyond  

I am off to attend NYSRA's annual literacy conference.  There will be plenty of opportunities to engage in professional development, take part in featured author and illustrator events, meet new people who share a love for literacy, language, and books, and participate in a Community Event centered around family literacy and education. 

I am also looking forward to performances by Sarah Ada!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Poetry Friday: Poetry Props! 1

  by Amy Merrill1
   Skeleton Poetry Props!  Literacy teacher, Ellen Mouillesseaux and my 5th grade daughter, Sarah!

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Linda at Teacher Dance Make sure you stop on over to see what poetry goodies she has for our "Poetry Break!" pleasures!


Poetry Props . . . 

 Engaging Readers & Entertaining Audiences!

One of my favorite poems to introduce to children this time of year is Jack Prelutsky's spectacular Skeleton Parade!  Traditionally I dim the lights, introduce the idea of a skeleton and a parade of them on Halloween, turn on my spooky voice, and demonstrate how to dramatize the poem as it is recited.  Children love it and are captivated by the magic of a spooktacularly fun and engaging poem!  Prelutsky's poem is easily remembered and children are able to reread it several times afterwards with confidence in themselves because of the creative dramatics that we used to recite it in the first place.  This poem is one that certainly sticks with you!  

Earlier this week my good friend and colleague, Ellen Mouillesseaux (literacy curriculum specialist), presented me with a poetry present!  She had discovered a lovely little garland of skeletons at her local dollar store and cut the little guys off the garland to become individual skeleton props!  We all had such fun using the little skeletons as we recited Skeleton Parade!  Children dangled tiny skeletons off their finger, marionette-style, as their skeletons "marched about the streets with bony bodies, bony heads, bony hands, and bony feet!"  

If you are not already familiar with Skeleton Parade, march yourself to your school or public library to check out a Halloween poetry collection!  You can find Prelutsky's poem in a couple of different poetry collections or anthologies.  Here are a couple . . . 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Literary Quote: Living in a Fantasy World

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.  It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.  ~Dr. Seuss 

Watch author and children's book expert, Anita Silvey's brief video about the infamous Dr. Seuss! Watch here at  Author Profile  

Fans of Dr. Seuss won't want to miss this newest book . . . . it has been described as "a literary equivalent of a buried treasure!"

Watch this video about the creation of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mother Goose Monday: Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

  by Amy Merrill1
 photo by Amy Merrill1 on Flickr.
Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater
by Mother Goose

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well!

 A retro nursery rhyme book with a brightly illustrated version of the classic Mother Goose rhyme, a pumpkin birdhouse, and a "Peter" and his wife miniature dolls, is all you need to dramatize and retell this nursery rhyme!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Literary Quote: Happy Dictionary Day!

Happy Dictionary Day (October 16)!

Life is our dictionary.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Happy Birthday Noah Webster!

Dictionary Day honors Noah Webster, who is considered the Father of the American Dictionary.   He was born on October 16, 1758.  We celebrate this day to emphasize the importance of dictionary skills.  Additionally Dictionary Day also strives to improve vocabulary.  Webster began to write his dictionary when he was 43and ittook him 27 years to complete it! 

October 16, 1758 - May 28, 1843
 To read about Noah Webster's life and love of words, check out this biography (grades 2 - 6) . . . 

Noah Webster: Weaver of Words by Pegi Deitz Shea and  illustrations by Monica Vachula
"Noah Webster is best known for writing American dictionaries. But that's not all he did." He also published America's first spelling and reading texts, wrote pamphlets against slavery, and helped establish the public education system. He "had the energy of a thousand bees, and knowledge was his nectar." Chronology. Bibliography. Index. Full-color paintings done in oil on board. A 2010 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book.
~from the Junior Library Guild
Click here for a wide selection of ideas for teaching dictionary skills.  There are many links to prinntables, games, and other resources.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Scary Dictionary!

Happy Poetry Friday!  Today's round-up is being hosted by Betsy Hubbard at Teaching Young WritersBe sure to stop by her blog for a "Poetry Break!" 

Poetry Friday: A Scary Dictionary!

I love this gem of a poem that I found in Caroline Feller Bauer's, Leading Kids to Books Through Puppets (American Library Association 1997)!  Bauer suggests that we read the poem in a theater format with two puppets.  Whether Charles Ghigna's dictionary poem is read with puppets, as a poem for two voices, or simply recited aloud, it is a great poem to inspire  word wizards everywhere!

The Scary Dictionary 
  by Charles Ghigna
The biggest book you'll ever see  
Lives deep inside the library!  

Alone it sits upon the stand;                                       
Your ticket to a magic land.

Don't be afraid.  Don't try to hide.
Just open it up and look inside. 
It's really fun to find a word. 
It may be one you've never heard. 

It may be long.  It may be short. 
It may be just your favorite sport. 
So get on your mark and get set. 
It's time to play the alphabet!

You see it isn't very scary . . . 
It's just the dictionary!  

This poem will be read by two voices on Monday, as my colleague and I read it over our school's PA system.  This is a fabulous poem to launch another week of our "word of the day" announcements.  I also plan to send a copy of the poem to each classroom to serve as a fun reminder of using a dictionary to "find a word," maybe even "one (we've) never heard!"  Just like everyone needs a copy of a good dictionary, everyone also needs a copy of a good dictionary poem! 

To read more about Charles Ghigna, also known as Father Goose, click here.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Literary Quote: Behaving Properly

"It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper."
~Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine


If you've never read this tale before, you'll want to make sure that you do so.  If you are a fan of fairy tales and fantasy, or simply enjoy a good read, make Ella Enchanted your next choice! 

Read chapter one of Ella Enchanted here, at Levine's website.