Friday, April 27, 2012

Kite Day

Title: Kite Day 
Author: Will Hillenbrand 
Illustrator: Will Hillendbrand 
Publisher: Holiday House 
Publication Date: February 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: On a windy spring day Bear and Mole decide to fly a kite. But when a storm rumbles in, the kite string breaks! The two friends tear after their kite and find it in a tree, protecting a nest of baby birds from the rain. 
What I Think: Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the energy that comes with the growth happening this time of year. I have always loved being able to get outside again and the excitement of finding the perfect weather for flying a kite. Kites have always been fun for me but are extra special because I sewed my own kite for a project for my high school math class. It was the most fun I have ever hard working on a project. My parents both helped me a lot and we went to a kite store and the fabric store to pull it all together. I am still extremely proud of my kite to this day. (Can you tell?)

This book is all about the perfect kite day, two industrious friends, and one special kite. The watercolor artwork brings the simple text to life. I was looking for a good mentor text to show my students sentence structure and how words work together in a sentence, and this book is exactly what I needed. I used the text in Kite Day to help my students develop a sense of sentence and how parts of speech work in a sentence. We laid out samples of the text that I had on sentence strips and looked for similarities in sentence structure. We recognized that some sentences are simply noun + verb and then we looked at how adjectives can be added into a sentence and where we are most likely to find them. We did the same with prepositional phrases and direct objects. I did this with older students who had learned grammar and parts of speech before but I found that this was a task that really made them think and examine the text in a new way. Next students were asked to write their own sentences for the story by following the different sentence structures we recognized from the text and then to revise the sentences by adding parts of the sentence to make it more complex.

Sometimes what might look like a story written with simple text is exactly what’s needed to look at language and writing. Beyond the writing and the illustrations, this book has such a sweet message. As an optimist, I am constantly looking for the good in every situation and this book is an example of this and would also be a good discussion starter about this topic.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 12
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 3  
Read With: Expository text about building a kite or weather, Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld, And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
Snatch of Text:   

"Bear collected.
Mole studied.
Bear snatched.
Bear measured and cut.
Mole drew.
They both constructed."

Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Sentence Structure, Personal Narrative, Expository, Descriptive 
Writing Prompts: Write a simple sentence that models the authors style in Kite Day and then write sentences that expand on the sentence and make it more complex by adding adjectives, prepositional phrases, or compound predicates. Write about a time in your life when you built something. Write about a time in your life when you flew a kite for the first time. (Maybe after the class flies kites together.) Explain the steps you need to take to successfully fly a kite - or maybe explain what can go wrong when you are trying to fly a kite! Design and describe a kite that represents you as a person. 
Topics Covered: Friendship, Integration - Science/Weather, Family, Motivation, Construction - Making Something
Jen *hearts* It:

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