Tag Archives: African American

The Snowy Day

Bibliographic Information: Keats, Ezra Jack. (1962). The Snowy Day. New York: Viking Press.

Plot Description: Young Peter wakes up to see a blanket of snow covering everything outside his window. After breakfast he puts on his snowsuit and heads out to explore. He makes different patterns in the snow with his feet and a stick, which he also uses to smack the snow from a tree. The snow falls on his head. He also pretends to be a mountain climber and slides down a big hill of snow. As well as making snow angels, a snowman and snowballs. He saves a snowball in his pocket before going inside for the day. His mother helps him get out of his wet clothes and take a bath. When Peter looks for his snowball later that night, it is gone. He goes to bed hoping that the snow outside will not disappear like the snowball. When he awakens in the morning he sees he didn’t need to worry: the world outside is still blanketed in snow.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: AD500L Interest Level: Lower Grades ATOS Book Level: 2.5

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Figurative language is used to explain sounds. For example, the author uses onomatopoeia ‘crunch, crunch, crunch’ to convey the sound of Peter walking in the snow. Graphics used for understanding. For example, in the story is says, “he walked with his toes pointed out, like this:” and then there is an illustration of what the snow looked like when he walked that way. The illustration, though not necessary, will help readers, especially children, understand what the author means when he says “like this” about the way Peter walked. It also shows the tracks he makes dragging his feet in the snow and then what it looks like when he drags a stick along too. Language closely adheres to readers linguistic base and register is casual and familiar. The text content will closely match life experiences of readers who live in places where it snows, but will be new to those who live in hot climates and may have never seen snow.

Content Area: Reading, Literature

Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

English Language Arts Standards: Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.4 Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

Curriculum Suggestions: Have students retell the story using simple sentence strips provided by the teacher. Students can draw a picture of the action on the strip and then organize the strips in chronological order. Have students imagine what happens after the story ends with Peter and his friend going out into the snow.

Supporting Digital Content:

http://www.penguin.com/static/images/yr/pdf/PictureBook_brochure_13.pdf

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/snowy-day-discussion-guide

http://www.liveoakmedia.com/client/guides/27459.pdf

Awards: SLJ Best Book; NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts; ABA Children’s Book Council; Caldecott Medal

Character names/descriptions: Peter, a little African American boy who lives in the city and goes exploring on a snow day.

Personal Thoughts: I really enjoyed the pictures and how they were used to enhance the meaning of the story.

High interest annotation: The city is covered in snow and young Peter is ready to explore the winter wonderland.

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Filed under Reading For Pleasure (Picture Books)

Uptown

Bibliographic Information:

Collier, Bryan (2000). Uptown. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Plot Description: The narrator, a young boy, takes the readers on a journey through Harlem. Pointing out all the people and sights along the way like chicken and waffles any time of day, the busy shopping streets, jazz music, the Apollo Theater, the barber shop, the brownstone buildings, a basketball game, church, choir practice, etc. Everything in Harlem is vibrant and full of life through the little boy’s eyes. Then night falls and it is time to return home. Harlem is his world. Harlem is Home.

Quantitative Reading Level : Lexile Measure: AD420L, ATOS Book Level: 2.8, Interest Level: Lower Grades (K-3), AR Points: 0.5

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Organization is clear and easy to predict. The book is illustrated with collages of photographs, paintings and drawings, which support interpretation of the text. Figurative language features prominently in the book. Metaphors are used throughout the text to say that Uptown is all its parts and the events and activities that happen there. For example, Uptown is a caterpillar or Uptown is chicken and waffles. Each page features a metaphor for Uptown and then the narrator’s explanation of the metaphor. Readers are supported in understanding the figurative language with explanations and illustrations. The journey through Harlem is told in first person narration, by a young African American boy who lives there. The register is casual, but poetic and the tone conveys a sense of pride in the narrator for his home.

Content Area: English Language Arts, Art: Mixed Media

Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Reading: Literature

Craft and Structure: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Production and Distribution of Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Curriculum Suggestions: Have students discuss the use of collages to illustrate the book, then have them make collages to represent their own neighborhoods. After making their collages, students can discuss their neighborhoods and write about them. Have students analyze the use of rhythm in the story and try to use rhythm in their own writing about their neighborhood. Students can present their collage while sharing what they wrote.

Supporting Digital Content: 

http://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?id=3726&a=1

http://2009bookclubblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/uptown_30.html

http://www.teachersforjustice.org/2010/02/visual-arts-lesson-plan-that-allows.html

Awards: NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts; Award Winners-Ezra Jack Keats Award; Award Winners-Coretta Scott King Award/Honors; Award Winners-Marion Vannett Ridgway Award/Honor Books

Character names/descriptions: The unnamed narrator who is a young boy living in Harlem.

High interest annotation: Journey through Harlem with the joyous young narrator and see his home as he does.

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Filed under Diverse Characters

Uptown

Bibliographic Information:

Collier, Bryan (2000). Uptown. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Plot Description: The narrator, a young boy, takes the readers on a journey through Harlem. Pointing out all the people and sights along the way like chicken and waffles any time of day, the busy shopping streets, jazz music, the Apollo Theater, the barber shop, the brownstone buildings, a basketball game, church, choir practice, etc. Everything in Harlem is vibrant and full of life through the little boy’s eyes. Then night falls and it is time to return home. Harlem is his world. Harlem is Home.

Quantitative Reading Level : Lexile Measure: AD420L, ATOS Book Level: 2.8, Interest Level: Lower Grades (K-3), AR Points: 0.5

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Organization is clear and easy to predict. The book is illustrated with collages of photographs, paintings and drawings, which support interpretation of the text. Figurative language features prominently in the book. Metaphors are used throughout the text to say that Uptown is all its parts and the events and activities that happen there. For example, Uptown is a caterpillar or Uptown is chicken and waffles. Each page features a metaphor for Uptown and then the narrator’s explanation of the metaphor. Readers are supported in understanding the figurative language with explanations and illustrations. The journey through Harlem is told in first person narration, by a young African American boy who lives there. The register is casual, but poetic and the tone conveys a sense of pride in the narrator for his home.

Content Area: English Language Arts, Art: Mixed Media

Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Reading: Literature

Craft and Structure: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Production and Distribution of Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Curriculum Suggestions: Have students discuss the use of collages to illustrate the book, then have them make collages to represent their own neighborhoods. After making their collages, students can discuss their neighborhoods and write about them. Have students analyze the use of rhythm in the story and try to use rhythm in their own writing about their neighborhood. Students can present their collage while sharing what they wrote.

Supporting Digital Content: 

http://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?id=3726&a=1

http://2009bookclubblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/uptown_30.html

http://www.teachersforjustice.org/2010/02/visual-arts-lesson-plan-that-allows.html

Awards: NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts; Award Winners-Ezra Jack Keats Award; Award Winners-Coretta Scott King Award/Honors; Award Winners-Marion Vannett Ridgway Award/Honor Books

Character names/descriptions: The unnamed narrator who is a young boy living in Harlem.

High interest annotation: Journey through Harlem with the joyous young narrator and see his home as he does.

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