April's Read Aloud was cancelled with short notice (schoolwide testing), so the books stayed on until May. The spring theme is still appropriate after Earth Day, thankfully. This was the last session of the year!
Before reading: talk about seasons, what time of the year they’re in, what season are we in now and how they know, what’s different about this season.
What happens when you grow things? Does it take a long time?
What do you need to grow plants?
Think about a time you had to wait for something and had to be patient. What was that like?
What are some of the things the book talks about that you do at home?
What can you do at school?
Is helping the earth a job for just grown-ups?
Before reading: talk a bit about what musical instruments (if any) the kids play.
After reading: ask them if their choice of instruments has changed at all, or what instruments they might choose to play later.
Who are some musicians you know? Do you listen to their music, or do your parents or older siblings?
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? (Practice, practice, practice!) ;) But why is that funny/true?
Does your school have a school garden? What do you need for a garden?
What would you want to grow in your own garden? (here at school or at home)
What do you make with stuff that grows in a garden? What would you add to vegetable soup?
Before reading: talk about why trees are important.
How does Wangari help the people who come to her? Does she fix things for them?
What are some other ways you can help the Earth besides planting trees?
Where does Wangari get her strength from?
What does she do that’s so different from other girls?
Would you be supportive of someone doing the same thing in San Francisco?
Before reading: talk about seasons, what time of the year they’re in, what season are we in now and know they know, what’s different about this season. Talk about how the seasons are in different places, how we know spring is coming. What is different about spring where we live? (The place in the book has a lot of snow...)
How does everyone in the family help at sugaring time?
What are some things you do in your family that require everyone to help?
What did the police and men in government fear about Wangari and the women?
Can you think of other times when people have come together to fight for a good cause?
How would you feel if you had to live in a world with no trees?
The Good Garden, by Katie Smith Milway (through page 14)
What do you need to make plants grow?
What do you think about the coyote? Does he really have the head of a coyote? Why does Maria Luz think of him that way?
Do you think Papa will come back with the seeds they need? Will their crop grow? What do you think he will say about Don Pedro’s lessons?
4 / 5
What is the hardest part of making new friends?
Do you think that it was Maya’s clothing that was the reason she couldn’t make friends?
What kind things have you done?
How does the little boy feel about when the other children won’t play with him? How do you know?
The story changes times; sometimes it’s in the present, sometimes it’s a legend, sometimes it’s in the past. How can you tell the difference? (illuminated initial letters, borders)
When you have worries, what can you do to feel better?
How are stories passed down from generation to generation? Do you know anyone who would share stories with you?