Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Howard B Wigglebottom Learns to Listen

Howard B Wigglebottom Learns to Listen has a note from the author on the front inside jacket flap.  Howard Binkow writes, " I used to get into a lot of trouble because I didn't listen very well.  Since I learned how to really listen, I get into much less trouble and have a lot more fun.  I want to help as many children as I can to become better listeners."  The character, Howard B Wigglebottom is rabbit and we all know rabbits have big ears and one might think that makes them good listeners.  That isn't the case here.  Many scenarios happen where Howard's friends try to warn him something semi dangerous might happen but he doesn't listen and some unfortunate things happen.  After quite some time, the teacher asks Howard to take a time out and starts to feel sad.  He thinks about his actions and decides to start listening more.  The reader then follows Howard being a good listener with many positive things happening.  At the end of the story there is a great list of tips, How To Be a Better Listener and then a set of discussion questions for each page of the story.  I find listening is something I have to be very explicit about in kindergarten.  It's hard to be one in a larger classroom for the first time and this is a great mentor text to help us think about our own listening.  Young children love having a book character to connect with.

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