We read one more that focused on revision, followed by three titles that related to things students had named the first week when creating a list in response to this question after reading We Don’t Eat Our Classmates: What do we need from each other this year in order to have the best year possible?
Day 9: When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr., illustrated by Germán Blanco
Day 10: Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
Day 11: Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds
Day 12: When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Monday and Tuesday continued the choices from last week that connected to ideas students shared of what they needed from each other this year. Wednesday’s title was to help us remember 9-11, and Thursday’s title connected to our writing mini-lesson that day. Finally, there are times when we just need to laugh together and enjoy being together without a bigger agenda. So I decided that on Fridays, I’m going to choose titles that are just fun to read without worrying about a bigger purpose or connection to something else we’re doing.
Day 13: After the Fall by Dan Santat
Day 14: Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller
Day 15: Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan
One of the many great things about reading a picture book each day is that it gives me a way to recognize things that I otherwise wouldn’t be sure how to incorporate into class. Reading poems as a class helps with that too. We started today by listening to Billy Collins read “The Names” on the PBS News Hour, a powerful way to begin class. Then, we read X.J. Kennedy’s “September Twelfth, 2001” to go with our writing mini-lesson for the day, which focused on Nancie Atwell’s Rule of So What? (choosing topics that are meaningful in some way). Our picture book was one more way to recognize 9-11 as we read the story of how a beam from the World Trade Center was repurposed in a US Navy ship.
Day 16: Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoët
Today’s writing mini-lesson focused on the importance of having a strong I presence in our poems, so I wanted to choose a title that had a strong I presence. It also gave me an introduction to booktalk her longer memoir, I Am Malala.
Day 17: Potato Pants by Laurie Keller
Finally, Friday gave me a chance to choose a title just for fun, so I chose one of my daughters’ favorites to share with my students.