Friday, November 22, 2013

Read Aloud Roundup: November 2013

This month we had a number of holidays to choose topics from -- my selections for Read Aloud covered Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah. I had an extra Hanukkah book left over from last year, which was fortunate, 'cause the kindergarten book Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood turned out to be written in stilted verse. The message was still inspiring, but the book was not as great as I thought it would be for reading aloud. Things got reshuffled. (And I ordered a used copy of How Many Days to America? by accident -- it was a withdrawn library copy with markings -- and managed to order a new one in time.) I included a "bonus" book that I can't use next month, as a backup in case any of the readers didn't like the assigned book. Here are the discussion questions for November.

Read poems on pages 4, 10, 27. Practice sign for “Thank you”.
What are some things you’re thankful for?
What are other ways to say thank you?
Why is it important to say these words or do actions that show thanks?

What does Big Brother do for his family?
How does Little Brother fill Big Brother’s shoes? Will he be a good Big Brother?
What are some of the feelings the family members might have?

Why does Tuyet worry about Turkey Day?
Does Thanksgiving REQUIRE a turkey?
What are some foods you’d like to have on Thanksgiving?

What is Sam concerned about the most with his menorah?
What kinds of memories are attached to the menorahs his parents have?
Is Sam’s gift well received? By whom?

What does Rachel hope for when staying with Mrs. Greenberg in the afternoon?
How does Rachel try to help? Does it work?
What’s the best part of working hard at making good food?

What does Mrs. Greenberg do for Rachel and her family? What does Rachel do for Mrs. Greenberg?
How does Rachel get Mrs. Greenberg to agree to come to Hanukkah dinner?
How does Mrs. Greenberg compliment Rachel?

What makes the family decide to leave?
How does the gold and jewelry help them on the boat? Where do you think it came from?
What do you think they’ll remember of their first Thanksgiving?
Does the author tell us where the family is from? Why not?

Why does Isobel worry about celebrating Hanukkah at her Aunt Luisa’s?
What does Isobel learn about Hanukkah from her Aunt Luisa?
Did you learn anything new from the story?

If you were Katie, how would you feel about breaking the dish? If you were Grandma?
How attached are the family to "things"?
How does Grandma make Katie feel better about her accident?
What kinds of things would you keep in your memory cupboard?

4th / 5th
What is Moina’s biggest motivation?
How does Moina help? Whom does she help?
What are some ways you can remember and acknowledge our veterans?

What is Sarah’s motivation to make a national holiday?
How is her request received? What would have been more influential?
Would it be possible to do what she had done, now? Why or why not?
What kind of new national holiday would you propose?

Why doesn’t Grandmother like Mr. Whiskers? How does her opinion change during the story?
Why did Maggie invite Mr. Whiskers?
Why do you think they let Mr. Horace have the last slice of pumpkin pie after what he’d done?

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