Saturday, May 3, 2008

Craft Lesson # 10: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub

Punctuation Introduction

Targeted age Group:
First Grade

Becoming familiar with the way punctuation looks and what it means are essential for reading and writing. This lesson provides an introductory look at punctuation like quotes, exclaimation points, commas, question marks, and periods.

How to teach it:
Read the book King Bidgood's in the Bathtub to the class. After reading the book write all of the punctuation marks on the board. (comma, period, exclaimation point, question mark, and quotes) Begin the class discussion by asking the class if anyone knows what any of the marks mean. Then explain to the class what each mark means and what it is used for. Read through the book again and stop after reading each page and ask the students if they see any of the punctuation marks on that page that were previously discussed. This is just an introductory lesson to punctuation and should be followed up by more in depth lesson on each individual mark throughout the year.

Wood, Audrey. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. Illus. by Don Wood. New York: Scholastic Inc, 1993.

Craft Lesson #9: Zoom

Teamwork and Problem Solving

Targeted age Group:
Fourth Grade

This activity will require students to communicate and work as a group to achieve a common goal.

How to teach it:
Break the classroom into groups of four or five. Hand out a sequence of four or five pictures from the book Zoom, everyone should have their own picture. The groups must put the pictures in the correct order. Once every group has put their pictures in order then the class needs to work together as an entire group to put all of the groups in order. Once the class feels they have the correct sequence show them the Zoom book to see if they got it right.

Banyai, Istvan. Zoom. NY: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Children's Literature Briefly. Chapter 17: Motivating Students to Read

This chapter had wonderful ideas for getting students motivated to read. The number one reoccuring suggestion was to be a role model reader. This chapter reminded me of my mother's best friend. She graduated college majoring in English and is obviously a huge reader. Every wall of her home is covered with books and she is constantly reading. Her and her husband have one child, a son. He is an amazing reader. He is constantly reading and at much higher reading levels than his peers. It is no surprise since his parents are his reading models. Just as this chapter says you must set an example, provide the books, set aside time, and create a reading atmosphere. This is probably one of the most useful chapters in the book to read.


What a cool book?!?!? Because there is no text the book is open for limitless personal interpretation. I found myself looking at the book several times; forwards and backwards. As you zoom outward from the initial picture you travel all over the globe through illustrations; from Arizona to Australia to outer space! The illustrations are very bright and vibrant. The opposing page is simply black and forces you to focus all your attention on the illustrations. This is a really cool wordless book!

Craft Lesson #5: Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!

Western Hemisphere Geography and Haiku Practice

Targeted age Group:
Second Grade

Learning geography can be dull and difficult because it is simply memorization. When given meaningful facts about a location it is easier to remember and recognize.

How to teach it:
When reading the book Yum! MmMm! Que Rico! you learn about food from different parts of North America, South America, and Central America. After reading this book have the class sit in front of a large map print out of the Americas. Have prepared cut outs of all the different food talked about in the book. For each cut out read the page that corresponds to it. Then have the children locate the country or countries that produce that food according to the book on a globe. As for a volunteer to stick the cut out on the country that it is made in (be prepared with more than one cut out if the food is produced in more than one place) The student may also write the name of the country on the blank map with a marker. Go through all of the foods in the book and make additional food cut outs. Research before hand where your addional cut outs are from and make your own description of them to read to the class.

You can also make this lesson into one about haikus. After teaching the class about the structure of haiku poetry you can have them make their own haikus about the additional foods that you added onto the lesson. An additional thing to do is to make a book out of the poems even having students color the pages. The book can be a classroom sequel to Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!!!

Another fun activity to add to this lesson would be to actually bring the food for the children to sample if your school allowed.

Mora, Pat. Yum! MmMm! Que Rico! Illus. Rafael Lopez. New York: Lee and Low Books Inc., 2007.

Book Review/Annotated Bibliograpy

Book Review

This children’s book is about a King who is very reluctant to get out of the bathtub. His court makes several unsuccessful attempts throughout the course of the day to lure him out of the tub. Instead of getting him out of his bubble bath they end up joining him in the bath partaking in the activity they requested. It takes a creative thought from an unlikely source to figure out how to get King Bidgood to finally get out.

The story line is humorous, repetitive, and entertaining. You can’t help but chuckle or at least smile when you turn the page after a failed character has left the bathtub and are standing in the court dripping wet from head to toe. The simple text has a repetitive pattern that is easy for children to catch on to and join in with. The repetition pattern has minor changes from time to time that keep the story progressing. For instance, the line “come in cried the king” is repeated throughout the book but is followed by a different word repeated three times depending on the activity requested; “yum yum yum”, “jig jig jig”.

The incredibly detailed life like illustrations will keep your attention long after the text on the page has been read. From the small delicate bubbles that float out of the King’s bathroom to the elaborate and accurate period clothing of the court. The color use throughout the book changes gradually with each turn of the page. At the beginning of the book “when the sun came up” the general color of the page is yellow then fades into light blue during the day, pink and red in the evening, and finally purple and navy blue “when the night got dark”.

I enjoyed this book as a child just as much as I do now as an adult. It’s one of those books that every time you read it you’ll find something different that wasn’t previously noticed. I recommend it for everyone but in particularly grades 1-3 who will comprehend and enjoy this masterpiece.

Wood, Audrey. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. Illus. by Don Wood. New York: Scholastic Inc, 1993.

To see my review online visit:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Children's Literature, Briefly. Chapter 16: Controversial Books

What stuck out to me the most reading this chapter was the section that discussed determining what is and is not developmentally appropriate for children. That is a tough call to make because so many factors contribute to an appropriateness. An individual child's maturity, community standards, and the context or explicitness of the text play major roles. How do we as teachers make that call? We must decide if the books that we assign and the books that we have available to students are worth defending if they are questioned. Having defined reasons for exposing children to a book is a must. If you are potentially going to be question you must know why you had to bring the book out in the first place. We must judge the book based on its content not subject. We also have to know the maturity level of our students and make the best judgement call possible.