Monday, January 28, 2013

Having Fun with Common Core: Circle Stories

This post is a continuation of my discussion about using picture books to create science-themed Readers Theater scripts that can help your students meet CCSS for ELA in the Reading Informational Text #4.

Today I’ll be discussing two books that are structured so that the reader begins and ends in the same place. These circle stories are appropriate for Readers Theater scripts because they describe a variety of creatures, each of which can become characters portrayed by your students, and because they have natural choruses. (And because both books describe relationships between living things, they can also be used to address CCSS for ELA in the Reading Informational Text #3)

Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre (illus. by Kate Endle; Charlesbridge) has an alluring title that most young readers will question, but as students plunge into the food chain narrative, they will begin to understand how all the living things in an ecosystem are interconnected. Although the text doesn’t mention people, the fun, colorful collages brings two children into the story—notebooks in hand.

The interconnectedness of living things is also the theme of Frog in a Bog by John Himmelman (Charlesbridge) , which leads young readers through a chain of natural events that occur on a typical day in a bog, beginning with a frog hopping off a fern and landing on some moss, which causes two mosquitoes to fly away. Simple sentences describe what is happening in the soft, colorful watercolor art, introducing readers to a variety of plants, insects, and animals. One event leads to another until, finally, the frog spots a cricket, catches it and then hops onto a fern.

What’s next? More book suggestions for Readers Theater.

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