Thursday, May 01, 2008

GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE: Read Aloud Discussion

You know those days when you wish there was a video camera in the room because the kids are SOOOOO SMART? Well, today was one of those days. We finished reading GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE by Barbara O'Connor yesterday. (If you have not read it, run out and buy it today!) After we finish a read aloud like this, we often spend a few days lingering. Today, we started out brainstorming the questions we'd like to linger with and then got into groups and pondered these things. This was a list of questions that we had some ideas about but that we knew we could think more about. I bopped around from group to group and the conversations were amazing. The depth of their thinking and the understanding they had of the relationships in the book was amazing. Here are the questions they are discussing:

Why did Clyde Dover change his mind about Aggie staying?
Why is he title Greetings From Nowhere?
What is the theme?
What did they mean about the parade (Dorothy's mother in the wrong parade, it's been a great parade, Harold)?
Who is the main character?
Why did Kirby keep the poodle pin and then give it back?
Why did Loretta decide not to visit the other places?
What did Kirby feel when he left?
What is Willow and Aggie's relationship?

This book has really been a powerful read for our class. The kids really connected with Aggie and Kirby. They could have talked for hours today. And we'll talk more tomorrow.

One of my students came in today and said, "I googled that book trailer that you showed us about GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE and showed my mom. Now she wants to read it!"

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:04 PM

    I am so excited about sharing this book with my kids. It has a powerful set of characters and it really makes a person look at how we are so interconnected within accidental communities which can become sacred circles when we take the time to add a bit of compassion and humor. A parade. A picnic. Rather like a staff at school? What a book. I cannot wait to hear what my kids have to say. This is one book that I will reread many times in the years to come.
    Andrea

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  2. ColoReader6:24 PM

    Ahh . . . the power of questioning as a strategy. What a great way to help kids think more deeply about powerful text. I love the lingering questions that perplex us as readers and thinkers. Can't wait to get my hands on this book. Thanks Franki for all you do to keep us on top of the "latest and greatest" titles.

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  3. Sounds like they really connected withit! Love Barbara O'Conner. Met her at a Children's Lit. conference and she's every bit that good. Can't wait to check this out. Thanks!

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  4. We just finished How to Steal a dog by Barbara O'Conner. You could hear a pin drop on the carpet when I was reading. Thirds graders loved the book. I am excitied to try your ideas about post read aloud discussions.

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  5. I'm going to finish reading Greetings from Nowhere either Monday or Tuesday. I had planned on blogging what happens right after, also.

    Here's an idea, since you posted about it first. What do you think about an all-call to all the people who read this book to their classes to share out how their kids interacted with it? Sort of like the Poetry Friday, Nonfiction Monday, or Slice of Life roundups,but this one would be about Greetings from Nowhere. I'm just thinking as I type, so maybe it's not manageable, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

    I will go ahead and share sometime this week or weekend, regardless. :)

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