This week I wanted to share with you a couple of wonderful reminders of summer that are just fabulous for making connections, talking about word choice or simply just reading for enjoyment. Since I already mentioned My Brave Year of Firsts (which features some great summer activities like cliff jumping), I'm digging a little deeper in to my collection to find some beautifully written gems.
The first book I want to share with you comes from Orca Publishing, a Vancouver-based publisher that puts out some fabulous books. Jessie's Island (Sheryl McFarlane), is a beautiful ode to life on one of BC's Pacific islands. For any child (or adult) who has ever visited (or lived!) on an "island in the middle of nowhere", Jessie's Island will bring back memories of days spent wandering the beach, paddling in the water or simply watching the boats go by. This book has such a peaceful rhythm to it - I find it very soothing to read! In addition, the language she uses lends itself very well to upper elementary lessons on word choice. If you are using this book as a mentor text for writing, be sure to check out Sheryl McFarlane's website, as her description of how she began writing this book is just about the perfect way to get kids writing themselves! Definitely an enjoyable what-I-did-this-summer reading and writing lesson could come out of this book.
In much the same vein, Time of Wonder (Robert McCloskey) shares the story of summer on an island in Maine. The language in this book is absolutely beautiful as well and connections abound. Again, another great mentor text for word choice in the upper elementary classroom as McCloskey's text really brings to life the goings-on in the book (including the hurricane!). The only caution I have is that this book is quite long so you may need to break the reading of it in to parts for younger kids but there is fun to be had for them as well, finding all the treasures in the pictures and searching for the young children and their dog on each page.
My final book is a great read-aloud for the grade 3-5 set. Summer in the City (Marie-Louise Gay, David Homel) tells the story of a young boy whose family (sounding very much like the Griswold's of National Lampoon's fame) decide to take a "stay-cation" and stay home this summer. Home is Montreal, QC, so this book is a great one for all those kids who spend their summers in the city, although the hilarious antics that happen throughout the book may be a little more than your students got up to this summer! I recommend it as a read-aloud because it is highly entertaining and I love to read funny books aloud; so much more fun, don't you think?
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!