Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Teaching this Author a New Lesson

Our post today is a huge "shout out" to Ms. H and her fifth-grade students at Pond Springs Elementary School. For those of you who do not know Ms. H., she is my son's teacher. Ryan adores her and thinks that she is the best teacher ever. I happen to agree. Not only because she has helped Ryan improve his grades and test scores by leaps and bounds, but because she teaches more than reading, writing, science and math. She teaches integrity, respect and accountability - all those fine subjects that go into building great character - no matter how old you are.

Ryan has been waiting patiently to share the new book with Ms. H. Finally, we had the opportunity give her a copy of The Angry Thunderstorm. She was so excited and told me that she was going to read the book with her class. "Oh no," I said. "This book is for children ages two to eight," thinking that the fifth-graders would be much too advanced for the book. Much to my surprise, I was wrrr.... (can't seem to be spit it out) wrroo... (one more try) WRONG!

Ms. H led her students through a read aloud. Afterwards, the class talked about the literary language, especially the personification of the thundercloud. They discussed the main idea of the book and the message takeaway. They talked about concepting and why I might have decided to write this story. While her fifth-graders may have sat in her classroom, it was I who learned the lesson: Picture books are still very useful for upper grades - and enjoyable at any age.

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