Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Newish Books That Have Fun With Words

During the first week of the school year, I read the book Animal Soup asking my kids if they liked words. They seemed confused. "What do you mean? Do we like words?"  I explained that I loved playing with words and the fun that writers had with words. I liked when writers did clever things with words. A few nodded while others tilted their heads not quite sure what I was getting at.

Some of the work we'll do in word study this year revolves around figurative language and using various parts of speech. The way I learned about figurative language and parts of speech was not joyful.  We learned about it in an isolated way and learned to recognize and name it but we didn't see the fun or joy in the clever ways people used words. Don't get me wrong,  I LOVED diagramming sentences (it was actually one of my biggest talents in middle and high school) BUT I never actually transferred any of that to using the language or to finding joy in the words and phrases that made up the sentences.

So I've been thinking hard about how to best move my students from not really thinking about words to finding joy in them to paying attention to the use of words in writing. So many days I find myself looking at my shelves of books, pulling collections of books based on some conversations we've had in class. These last few days I've pulled the following newish books to add to our conversations around words.


Words by Christopher Niemann
This small chunky book is mostly visual and is a great celebration of words of all kinds. This is one kids spend a lot of time with and one that they go back to again and again.


Not only is this a fun book that explores fun fruit words but the character of Orange (who has no place in a rhyming story) is hilarious!


A Greyhound a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins
This book plays with just a few words to tell a story and is fun to read aloud.



Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea
These are fun riddles written in Haiku. This one is fun to read and guess the answers to these riddles. After reading a few kids will want to try writing some of their own.


Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Su Park
What a fun way to look at words that can be used as different parts of speech--lots of noun-verb combinations to create fun scenes.  



Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus and Kadir Nelson
The brilliance in the way the author uses words invites conversation. This book is powerful and gorgeous and gives readers so much to think about, even though there are so few words.


Although this one does not focus on word play, kids definitely notice the fun in the author's use of words in several places.


This House Once by Deborah Freedman
The partnered language in this book may invite readers to try describing things in new ways. The author says a great deal in short, beautiful phrases.


1 comment:

  1. Such a great post! Thank you for these book recommendations, Franki. If you don't know them already, please let me recommend the Kilgallon SENTENCE COMPOSING books through Heinemann. Really great. Hugs. xx

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