Books with current issues, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, Teacher tips and resources

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

‘Never step on a snail’

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan explores a relationship between two boys or brothers over the course of the summer holidays. This book is shelved in the Fiction section of our library and although younger readers may enjoy the pictures – it really is a book for readers who can think more deeply about what is happening as each page is turned.

cover-illustration-shaun-picture-book-rules-summer

There is no particular narrative in this story but rather a series of rules that one must not forget if they are to survive summer.

Each page adds more intrigue to the story being told through pictures and leaves many questions being asked by the reader. You may find many questions of self reflection being asked about children’s own approach to different situations and why that crow appears in nearly every page.

We had a lot of fun working through this picture book in four lessons. If you would like to go on a summer journey too: Visit my TPT store to purchase the lesson outline you can use with your group to explore:

– Details of the pictures

– The role adults play in the lives of children.

– Changing perspective.

– Creative thinking through the KAPLAN model.

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Books with current issues, Creativity, Parent tips, picture books

I’m Australian too by Mem Fox and Ronojoy Ghosh

Australia Fair is ours to share, where broken hearts can mend. 

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 I’m Australian Too
I'm Australian Too

I’m Australian too by Mem Fox and Ronojoy Ghosh is a marvellous picture book which highlights the amazing multicultural country Australia is.


Throughout the story we hear about families from Ireland, Italy, China and Syria. We meet the ancestors of  the first people of Australia and also the refugees who are still waiting to be a part of Australia.

Mem Fox celebrates the diversity of Australia and the friendliness of the community through children’s eyes. Rhyme is used along with the thought provoking repetitive question:

How about you? 

Ronojoy Ghosh’s illustrations tell us more about each child, how they live and the different dynamics of the family unit.

As we read this story as a class the children were bubbling with excitement about the fact that they had a story to tell about where their parents came from. As I read it to my own two children we were able to talk about the different people who live here and perhaps who had a story similiar to ours.

We all have a story to tell and all stories should be told. By reading this book to your own child or a whole group of children, all voices can be heard and appreciated!

Links for your child, your students and you. 

Families – Find or draw a family picture and underneath write about where you all come from. Children always love to know where their parents and grandparents came from and perhaps even before that! Create your own rhyming paragraph just like in the story.

Geography – Using a world map, find out where the children are from in this story. How far have they or their parents travelled? Why did they all move here?
Thinking – Who is an Australian? What makes you belong to a country? Is there a checklist? Is there a feeling you must have? Explore what makes us belong to a country – how do we feel we belong and how do others decide if we belong? How does this feeling of who belongs create problems in the world
Punctuation – what sort of word is I’m? Look for other contractions within the story and discuss why we use them and what they ‘stretch’ out to become.

What is a question mark? How many are used within this story? Create your own questions about this book to share with each other. Make your own question marks out of different materials (such as a long piece of grass!)  IMG_4637

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