My Mentor Text: Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau
I love this book because it shows bullying in its simplest form--how being mean to others leaves the bully with feelings of loneliness and remorse. I read this book to 4th and 5th graders--usually really slowly so they can predict what happens to the little fish introduced to the tank. The text is simply written and the illustrations are entertaining, so even the youngest of readers can understand what's happening.
After reading, I ask: "Why did I read this to you?" They discuss the possible reasons and we have a deep conversation about the book and bullying and how to treat others. (The students really facilitate their own discussion off of the book--adding on and supporting their thinking. I merely jump in every once in a while and ask questions based on their remarks and to bring the discussion back to the book.)
This year, since my curriculum revolves around Social Studies, I find it difficult to bring back literature, such as Ugly Fish, because it doesn't fit in with the SS topics. I do have about 20 minutes in the morning for Positive Discipline, which is where I'm going to add my favorite read alouds to teach different themes and issues. Here's an activity using Ugly Fish I'm going to try with my students when we get back from Spring Break:
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What are some books you love that teach themes and issues? Link up with Collaboration Cuties :)