Category Archives: Wonder

What If…

What If…”

Samantha Berger’s rhyming picture book, What If…, celebrates creative expression. A determined girl uses paper and a pencil to create her stories. But happens when her pencil is gone. She’ll shape the leaves. What if the leaves are blown away? She’ll sculpt in snow. What if the snow melts? She’ll use sunlight and shadows. What if everything is taken away?

This story promotes creative components of imagination, persistence, resourceful, and valuing creativity.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book for three reasons. First, when the main character is faced with obstacles, she chooses to use her imagination and resources around her to find ways to express her creativity. She does not let anything stop her. Secondly, I appreciate the last page of this book which states: “As long as I live, I will always create,” a personal mantra that I try to live by daily. Thirdly, my favorite question is what if because it promotes wonder. What if the world was square? What if I lived in another country? And so I ask you, What if?

TITLE: What If…

AUTHOR: Samantha Berger

ILLUSTRATOR: Mike Curato

PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 2018

AGE GROUP: 4-7

THEME(S)/TOPICS: overcoming obstacles, problem solving

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, persistence, resourceful, valuing one’s creativity

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick one of your favorite things to do. List the items you need in order to do your favorite thing. What would you do if those things were no longer available? How would you do your favorite thing?

2) In what ways are you creative? What would you do if you could no longer express your creativity in the way you always have?

3) Create list of “what if” questions. Share with your friends and see how their answers differ from each other. Teachers can use these what if lists for daily writing prompts.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Samantha Berger, visit:

http://www.samanthaberger.com/about.html

To learn more about illustrator Mike Curato, visit:

https://www.mikecurato.com/about

Animal Ark

Animal Ark”

In this collaborative project between photographer Joel Sartore and Newberry-winning author Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark blends their talents to give focus on some of the endangered species in our magnificent animal kingdom. Alexander’s haiku poetry accompanies Sartore’s visual haikus (photos). Their message, We are family, drives home that we must all take care of our planet.

Background matter includes notes from the photographer and the writer.

This book promotes creativity, helping others, nature and discovery.

TITLE: Animal Ark

AUTHOR: Kwame Alexander

PHOTOGRAPHER: Joel Sartore

PUBLISHER: National Geographic Partners, 2017

AGE GROUP: 5-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, helping others, nature, discovery

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What can you do to help save endangered species?

2) Choose a photo of an endangered animal. Research your animal. Use a few of those facts to help you write a haiku poem about your animal.

 EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about photographer Joel Sartore, visit:

https://www.joelsartore.com/about-joel/

Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear—and to get people to care while there’s still time.

https://www.joelsartore.com/photo-ark/about-the-photo-ark/

To learn more about author Kwame Alexander, visit:

http://kwamealexander.com

Winter Dance

Winter Dance”

Opening:   A single snowflake floats through the air, spins, leaps, settles on the nose of a fine red fox. What is a fox to do?

Other animals share with fox what they do in the winter. Squirrel gathers acorns. Turtle buries deep in the mud. Caterpillar wraps itself in a chrysalis.

But none of that will work for fox.

Until another fox comes along.

This book promotes creative nonfiction and beautiful lyrical language.

TITLE: Winter Dance

AUTHOR: Marion Dane Bauer

ILLUSTRATOR: Richard Jones

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: lyrical, nonfiction

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) In the winter, humans and animals wear winter coats. Design a winter coat for an alien or dinosaur.

2) Create a creative dance movement  for each animal in the story.

3) If a snowman were to take a summer vacation, where would he go? Design a travel pamphlet for his vacation destination. 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Marion Dane Bauer, visit:

https://www.mariondanebauer.com

To learn more about illustrator Richard Jones, visit:

http://www.paintedmouse.com/about/