Thursday, December 20, 2012

Read Aloud Roundup: December 2012

This month the volunteers read on on a day just before school let out for break. I picked out books to touch on several winter holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice. I'd purchased Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah, but somehow it didn't make it into the stack. I'll have to put it aside for next year. :/


Winter is the Warmest Season, by Lauren Stringer
How is the weather in the winter?
What are some things you can do to keep warm?
Does it snow in San Francisco? Where does it snow? What is snow like? If you haven’t seen it in person, what do you imagine about it?

The Pirate of Kindergarten, by George Ella Lyon
Why didn’t Ginny tell anyone that she saw two or three of everything?
How do you think she felt about her eyesight, or when kids laughed at her?
Why do you think Ginny decided to be a pirate?


Big Red Lollipop, by Rukhsana Khan
Do you argue with your brothers and sisters? Why?
Why doesn’t Rubina’s mother understand about birthday parties?
Why does Rubina ask her mother to let Sana go by herself?

Jingle Dancer, by Cynthia Leitich Smith
From whom does Jenna learn to dance?
Why do Jenna’s friends and family members give her their jingles?
Why does Jenna only take one row of jingles from each?
What are the things that Jenna has to do in order to be ready to dance in the powwow?


Going Home, by Eve Bunting
After reading the book, what definitions of “home” can you think of? Where is Carlos’s home? Why? Do you think you can have more than one home?
Why does Carlos worry when they cross the border?
Carlos says he is beginning to understand his mother. What do you think he is beginning to understand?
What does Papa mean about opportunities?

Seven Spools of Thread, by Angela Shelf Medearis
Do you argue with your brothers and sisters? Why?
What do you do when someone disagrees with you?
What was the lesson their father wanted them to learn?


Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto
Why did Maria put on her mother’s ring?
How did Maria feel when she had to tell her mother what she’d done?
What could have Maria done instead of eating all the tamales?
Why was she crying while making more tamales? How did her family react?

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, by Eric Kimmel
Why do the goblins hate Hanukkah so much?
Why is Hershel able to trick the goblins?
In the last picture, why are there so many menorahs burning?


Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey From Darkness Into Light, by Tim Tingle
(before/during reading, as suggested by the author at the back of the book): What do (Native American) Indians wear? (after hearing answers, point out that the characters in the book and most modern Indians wear modern clothes like other people where they live -- shirts, pants, dresses, etc.)
Why did the boy throw a stone at Mawmaw?
What does “saltypie” mean to Tim’s family? Is it happy, sad, funny?
If you could not see, how would you know your family or friends? How did Mawmaw “teach people to see”?

4 / 5

An Angel for Solomon Singer, by Cynthia Rylant
“Solomon Singer lived in a hotel for men” -- what kind of place is it? How it different from living in a house or apartment?
Why would a yellow or purple wall have made a difference?
How does Solomon Singer feel about himself? How do you know?
What would your “place to love” be like?

According to the reader, this was a real downer at Christmastime... oops. I was hoping to focus more on the value of "more than things" and perhaps touch on "those less fortunate" to inspire empathy. I think the book does have a nice lesson, but perhaps the older grades would be able to get past the main character's depressing situation more easily.

The Carpenter’s Gift, by David Rubel
If you have a Christmas tree at home, or have seen them for sale, where do you think they come from?
Why did the workers help Henry’s family?
Why is the pinecone special? (a discussion of symbolism, perhaps)
What are some ways of giving back or passing on kindnesses others have shown us?

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