I love finding new picture books. On Mondays, I have a host of blogs I read to find new picture books to check out. (www.thereisabookforthat.com, http://www.teachmentortexts.com, http://www.unleashingreaders.com) I found a book recommended on one of the blogs a few weeks ago: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet. I put it on hold as soon as I came across it.
I ended up going to the library a few hours later and set about perusing the shelves in search of it on my own. When I found it, I realized Carmen Agra Deedy had also written Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark. When I saw the cover, I immediately thought of my fourth-grade teachers who are currently on Lucy Calkins Historical Fiction reading workshop unit. I knew they were currently reading Lowry’s Number the Stars as the mentor text for the work in this unit. I pulled both books off the shelf and proceeded to the checkout counter.
I sat down to read them when I returned home. I was surprised to discover how nicely these texts pair together. I started imagining the rich discussions students could have as they read this trio of texts. These texts work together to support common themes, and when paired, would allow students who struggle with determining theme an opportunity to discover it. I brought the books to one of my fourth-grade teachers this past Tuesday. I explained what I had discovered and left them with her to share with her students.
When I stopped by her room this afternoon to pick the books up, I was greeted with a warm smile.
“Erin, you were right. The kids made all sorts of connections, and our conversations were rich as the kids were discovering themes and comparing and contrasting the texts. I’m so glad I took the time to read them. Thank you for bringing them in.” (Music to my ears! I love hearing that kids are having rich discussions talking about books!)
If any of you are currently in the middle of the Historical Fiction Unit or are reading Number the Stars to your class, I encourage you to pick up these picture books from your local library or favorite bookstore. You will not be disappointed.