News & EventsBook Verdict
I Love to Laugh
Written by Deborah B. Ford
October 08, 2012
In this week’s On the Radar, I wrote about books that made me laugh. Not only is laughter good medicine, but it can also be the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. We can use books that make us laugh in our teaching just as easily as we can use serious we-need-to-learn-something-from-this books. The following is a recap of the titles with websites and teaching ideas for each book. If you missed Extra Helping this week, click on Extra Helping to sign up. The newsletter will come to you.
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BARNETT, MAC. Pictures by Adam Rex. Chloe and the Lion. Disney-Hyperion Books, 2012. ISBN 9781423113348. JLG Level: HE : Humor Elementary (grades 2-6)
Ask students to determine the theme of Chloe and the Lion. Ask them to write a persuasive paragraph about which is more important to the story―the author or the illustrator. Cover your CCSS and be sure to have them write why. Check out these websites for Chloe and the Lion.
BLACK, Michael Ian. Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. I’m Bored. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012. ISBN 9781442414037. JLG Level: P : Primary (Grades K-1)
Have students make a list of things they can do if they find themselves bored. Then place them in small groups. Each person in turn will read off his/her list. If the same words are spoken, everyone strikes the idea off their own list. The person in the group with the most remaining words or phrases wins. Note: Should you play this again, students will play much more seriously as no one wants to cross items off his list. Check out these sites to use when you read I’m Bored.
I’m Bored Illustrator page (includes teaching activities)
KLASSEN, Jon. This Is Not My Hat. Candlewick Press, 2012. ISBN 9780763655990. JLG Level P : Primary (Grades K-1)
Students who’ve read I Want My Hat Back will probably not be surprised at the events of Klassen’s new book. However, there are many opposites in the two stories. Read both stories and have students compare and contrast the two books. There are also story time ideas at the publisher’s website for this and other books.
Tip: Read the Publishers Weekly interview for the back story.
LEVINE, Gail Carson. Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems. Harper, 2012. ISBN 9780061787263. JLG Level: HE : Humor Elementary (grades 2-6)
Teachers and librarians who use this title, will want to start with the obvious- William Carlos Williams’ poem. Then have students write their own false apology poems. Fans of Shel Silverstein will feel like they’ve found a missing book.
Illustrator blog (you can see some sample pages there)
VIORST, Judith. Illustrated by Lane Smith. Lulu Walks the Dogs. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012. ISBN 9781442435797. JLG Level: I+ : Independent Readers (Grades 2-4)
As I said in On the Radar, it’s Viorst and Smith. How could it not be hilarious? There are endless writing activities to support this title. Students can write about what Lulu wants so much that she’ll walk dogs to earn the money. What are ways a kid can earn money? If you’ve never cared for dogs, how can you learn how to do that?