Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Going Places

Title: Going Places
Author: Peter and Paul Reynolds
Illustrator: Peter Reynolds 
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 18th, 2014
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: A go-cart contest inspires imagination to take flight in this picture book for creators of all ages, with art from New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

It's time for this year's Going Places contest! Finally. Time to build a go-cart, race it - and win. Each kid grabs an identical kit, and scrambles to build.

Everyone but Maya. She sure doesn't seem to be in a hurry...and that sure doesn't look like anybody else's go-cart!

But who said it had to be a go-cart? And who said there's only one way to cross the finish line?

This sublime celebration of creative spirit and thinking outside the box - both figuratively and literally - is ideal for early learners, recent grads, and everyone in between.

What I Think: I have a friend who dislikes the idea of "thinking outside the box". It bothers him that a box even exists but the truth is that it does. In thinking about the history of education and how for so long, school has been about sitting in rows and making sure everyone know the exact same information but that now we are shifting to a different kind of learning, learning that relies on using the information we have, the resources we have, problem solving and creating. Education put an emphasis on defining a box and what was inside it but now it's more about creating our own boxes and redesigning them. 
     In Going Places Peter and Paul Reynolds show us what it might be like to think outside the box and how we can embrace people who do. It seems like people who do things differently often have to deal with people who don't understand what they are doing or why. I love how this book helps to give kids experience with how they might treat someone who does something differently and how to recognize them for their creativity rather than to criticize them for not doing things "the way they are supposed to". I especially love how it turns out to be a great experience when they do let their imaginations run wild.
     As a mentor text, this is a great book for thinking about how we give feedback to others. When someone does something different or unique or creative in their writing, how can we recognize what they have done and be conscious of celebrating what they have done instead of criticizing it? Giving feedback on writing is so important to a writer (of any age) and I believe we need to have lots of discussions about how to give feedback. This book is a great way to start or revisit the discussion of giving constructive feedback.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 12
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 3
Read With: The Dot by Peter Reynolds, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Snatch of Text: 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you did something differently from others. How did they respond to you and how did you feel about your decision and about how people reacted to your choice?
Topics Covered: Creativity, Imagination, Friendship, Determination
 I *heart* It:

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