Tuesday, April 10, 2012

To Read or Not to Read

When I saw this book on the shelf at my local bookstore, I knew I had to have it.
The title got me first.
I also had great appreciation for the cover.

The slightly panicked look on his face got me thinking.
I wanted to know WHY the little boy wouldn't read. What terrible thing was waiting inside the pages?

I was a little nervous.
I had to know.

So I bought it and read it.

I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng, illustrated by Joy Ang is a delightful story. One that shows what great lengths a child may go to, simply to avoid reading.
Because sometimes, "Reading is hard and I don't read fast and... there are words I don't know."

The joy of reading is quickly lost when always tied to a goal. So many minutes or words per night. Comprehension questions. Book reports.

The reluctant reader in this story is willing to face hanging from a cliff over shark infested waters rather than read.  He's willing to endure tickling from a monkey and a speeding train. Anything.

How does it end?
He's willing to read if, and only if, someone he loves will read it WITH him.

Three cheers for read alouds!

Writing Extension Idea:
I do an exercise like this at the beginning of each year as I'm getting to know the children in my class. It gives me a little knowledge about the individual and it gives each child a chance to share their thoughts on some big ideas.
Materials Needed:  Large drawing paper (big enough to trace a child's body), markers, interview sheet.
Procedure: Children lie down in any pose they choose and I quickly trace their body outline. They use markers to draw details if they choose, or simple to add color and decorate as they see fit.
Using the following statements, I interview each child and record their answers on the Interview Sheet. We hang the tracings and interviews on the classroom walls right away. 
1. I like 
2. I do not like
3. I am afraid of?
4. I am not afraid of?

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