Last week I was thinking about my classes and feeling good about how they were adjusting to school life and navigating our day. However, I'm a bit worried about how they are navigating friendships and treating each other. I tweeted a few friends for titles of books they might use to build community, really looking for books that would help children think about others. This can be and often is challenging for everyone but I know the success we will have this year together depends on how we treat each other. It also depends on thinking before we act or speak. It also depends on helping others while learning and playing.
One book my friend Cathy suggested was TOGETHER by George Ella Lyon. This book is new to me and that brings me back to why I set up this blog. I started blogging to share titles that are new to everyone but titles that are old but new to me. I couldn't find this book easily online for a reasonable price to purchase. My first library system didn't have it but my second choice did. I picked it up yesterday and while reading it I thought my kindergarten students will enjoy this book. However, if I were teaching older students third on up we would have a lot of fun using this book as a mentor text for writing and guiding community building.
Two friends, both girls share all the things they can do together. The text per page is just one sentence. The language and organization of the sentence clearly lets the reader know these two friends work together; teamwork is important for happiness. Happiness isn't evident in text but through the illustrations by Vera Rosenberry.
Here are a few examples from the text to help you envision how this book could help you in your classroom.
-"You cut the timber and I'll build the house."
-"You salt the ice and I'll crank the cream."
-"I'll drive the truck if you'll fight the fire."
Every few pages this phrase is repeated; "Let's put our heads together and dream the same dream." This book could also lead a great discussion about dreams and goals as a class and individually. I hope your year is off to a great start. I'm thinking, You get the bread, I'll spread the peanut butter.