Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fathers Day Books.. and a Writing Freebie!

Hello, Teaching Friends!

With Fathers Day coming up soon, I'd like to share some favorite books to get your little learners thinking and writing about the special men in their lives - dads, grandpas, uncles, maybe even an adult male they admire in your school community or their neighborhood.  I know that this can be a very touchy topic these days, with families changing as they are.  But let's face it ...  many of you will be addressing the holiday this week  - seems like the dads should be getting in on all that love and admiration the moms just received for Mothers Day, right?  :) And if not, maybe you'll have fun reading a few of these books and doing this writing project with your own children.

I love list books, because they're such good mentor texts for writing projects. Here are a few of my favorites for Fathers Day! Click on any of the pictures to see it at Amazon.

Me and My Dad! by Alison Ritchie is a picture of sweetness, with an adorable bear cub and the loving dad who comforts him when thunder crashes and then cavorts with him in the rain afterwards.

The animal dads in Laura Numeroff's What Daddies Do Best  are tender caretakers. As you read this one, you'll hear stories from your students about planting gardens with their own grandpas, and about the time that dad stayed home to take care of them when they were sick.

The Ten Best Things About My Dad  by Christine Loomis, features a dad who tells jokes and scares monsters away. As you see on the cover, he's also a good cuddler!

I haven't got a picture for Nick Butterworth's My Dad is Awesome, but it's actually my favorite of these list books. Which of your kiddos wouldn't love a line like, "My dad is as strong as a gorilla!"??

Since all of these are short books, you might want to read several at one sitting. They're a great way to start the shared writing of a chart list." What do you like to do with your dad, or your big brother, or your grandfather, or...?"  In kindergarten, a chart like this, especially if you use patterned text, has great value not just in the writing but also in the frequent rereadings.

"I like to watch baseball with my brother."
"I like to ride bike with my dad."
"I like to play video games with my uncle."

On each rereading, your kindergarteners will be practicing directional behaviors, locating known and unknown words, and matching one-to-one. With your prompting, their fluent phrasing and expression will also improve.

In first grade, as the sentence structures have more variety, the readers will also be determining unfamiliar words through the use of context cues and decoding.

That's a whole lot of solid literacy practice from a little Fathers Day lesson, right?

The chart writing segues easily into an independent writing project, whether you make a Fathers Day book or an extended-card-and-gift-all-in-one.  Here's a simple pre-writing graphic organizer  about what your little guys enjoy doing with their dad, grandpa, uncle, big brother, etc. Just transfer the information from the organizer to a few stapled blank half pages and you're all set! Click to download it from Google Drive.

Do you have a favorite read-aloud for Fathers Day?

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