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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blasting Off To a Great Year!

You made it!  This is the last stop for . . . . . . . . .
I know that you have all heard the saying, "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words."  This can literally be true when you work with children.  One of my duties is to push into our kindergarten classrooms at the beginning of the year.  I help the teachers start to establish some of the elements of Daily 5.  

Right away, we talk about how reading is so important.  I speak for about 10 seconds before a little one blurts out kindly informs me that they don't know how to read.  Are you nodding your heads?  Has this happened to you?

If you are familiar with "The Sisters," they make a point of teaching these beginning readers that reading the words is only one way to read a book.  There are actually 3 ways to read a book:  Read the words, Read the pictures, Retell the story.  I am going to tell you about one book that I use to model READ THE PICTURES.

I first tell the students that I am going to show them how to read this book, but I am not going to read any words except for the title and author.  There is usually a little one who asks, "How will we know what's going on in the story?"  I usually say something profound like, "Wow, you're right!" or "Good thinking, I wonder that too!"  I end by saying, "Let's just look at the pictures in the story and see what is going on."

As I "read" the book, I basically give a commentary of what the pictures tell me.  I use the words, "I can read here that . . . . . . . ."  I deliberately use the word READ often so they get used to knowing that you can read pictures. 

Below, you can see some of the wonderful illustrations by Molly Bang that lend itself so well to talking about them.  It is very clear what is going on and how Sophie is feeling.

This is a page from the beginning.  You can see here what might have made Sophie angry.  I make sure that I stick with describing the picture.  Often the students are one step ahead of me (not shocking). Our conversations go something like this:
Student - She's mad!
Me - Why do you say that?
Student - Look at the way the word coming out of her mouth is written.  It's all pointy!
Me - Very good thinking!  It does look like it is written in an angry way.

And so on goes our conversation through the book.  The illustrations when she is mad are all outlined in red.  As she calms, the outlines turn to orange, then purple.  The pictures are so natural to read that the words are really not necessary to read this book.  Here are some other pictures from the book.

This is a great book to model READ THE PICTURES.  It is also a great book to use for older kids to work on inference skills.

There you have it!  Happy back to School!  I hope your year flies high!  And Remember:

Here is your link back to the beginning of our hop to Andrea at Reading Toward the Stars!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Where did you find that quote? What a perfect ending to a fantastic blog hop! I loved each and every post. Such a wealth of knowledge to use during the new year, and the funny thing is that we really didn't duplicate. Each post went in a new direction! Have a wonderful year, Amy!

  2. I love your quote!! Thank you for that. My two little girls have always loved this book. I think because there is so much expression in the illustrations.
    Curious Firsties

  3. Nice post and great literacy connections to a wonderful book! Molly Bang is an incredible author. She has many enjoyable books out there. Thanks for sharing! :)
    Literacy Loving Gals