WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE- “A” contract project

12WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak has been a very popular book for the lower elementary children. This is actually a book my son’s teacher used in second grade to conduct writing prompts for the students. From this book, there are many ideas which emerge for a lesson plan, which many of them include hand on activities and the students working cooperatively.



The following are activities which can be done in three days. However, they can be altered according to the children’s grade level and interest in activities. As an integration, the teacher and students can come up with more ideas/activities to add for the rest of the week.

Students get to create crafts based on the reading:

The following worksheet will be given to students. Their final monster will “look” according to their answers from the worksheet


This is a final “monster” from one of the students; every monster will look different


Another great idea is using various types of food in order to “re-create” model pictures from the book (toothpicks- grapes, cheese, apples, pears, dry spaghetti, chocolate, sprinkles, etc. are great items to be used)

Food activities

The third activity will allow the children to go outside and explore around. Paper and color pencils will be provided and they will have the opportunity to draw their own monsters in their backyard

children drawing
Photo CC: blog.oregonlive.org 

KWHL – where the wild things are

Pictures and lesson plan ideas retrieved from: inspirationlaboratories.com





Top Ten List

There has been many books I have read this semester. Some of these books have definitely made it to the top ten list. Check out the different themes!

Top ten Newbery and or Caldecott books

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
To be a Slave by Julius Lester
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Holes by Louis Sachar
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting
Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Same and Jean Stoick





Top ten books for the classroom and or library

SMOKY NIGHT by Eve Bunting
FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems
BLACKOUT by John Rocco
The Other Side by Jackeline Woodson
BACK OF THE BUS by Aaron Reynolds


Top ten books I enjoyed this semester

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly
To be a Slave by Julius Lester
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Michaelsen
Mr. Burke is Berserk by Dan Gutman
Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower by Peggy Parish

Thinking About Ants by Barbara Brenner
Giant Squid by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
JUMANJI by Chris Van Allsburg
The Garden Of Abdul Gasazi by Alvin Tresselt


It Is Monday! What Are You Reading?

the snowy dayI have spent the last two hours at the library with my son. I have been adding all the book I have read to Goodreads, which I forgot to do so…oops! Since December is here, I noticed a lot of christmas and snow related books are out. As I glanced around, I saw The Snow Day book, by Ezra Jack Keats which won a Caldecott Medal award back in 1963.

Have you ever been so excited about snow that you decided to take it home and save it to play with it later? I know I have! Back in 1999 my family and I moved to the United States from Mexico. As most of you know, we do not get any snow in Mexico, at least where I am from. I clearly remember the first day my brothers and I saw snow; it was incredible! After playing outside for several hours, I remember we made snowballs and brought them into the house and put them in the freezer thinking it was never going to snow again!

Today, 18 years later, the snow has continue to fall and I don’t care to make any snowballs; it is too cold. As I read this book, Peter, definitely reminds me of those days as he also decides to put a snowball in his pocket to play with it later. To his surprise, the snow continued to fall, too!  Ohhh silly kids…

Mock Caldecott

Well, on my previous blog (on December 2nd) about caldecott awards, I forgot to mention the three books I would like to read out of the list of nominees. As I scrolled through the list, none of the books were familiar to me, however, most of them did look appealing to read!

Nominee 20- How to be an Elephant by Katherine Roy

how to be an elephant

After the watching the short video, I think this book would be a great asset to be used in a lesson plan about animals (herbivores) and the food they consume.

Nominee 14- BLUE SKY, WHITE STARS by Sarvinder Naberhaus

blue sky, white stars

This book talks about diversity in the United States


Nominee 4- The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

The book of mistakes

We all makes mistakes, that is a fact. This book sounds like it would be a great reminder for the students that it is okay to make mistakes; even teachers and adults make mistakes. I like the fact that the children were able to re-read the book and the conversation/discussion between them all was even better then the first time.

Mock Caldecott

caldecottCritical thinking skills are definitely used when choosing Mock Caldecott books. But the question is, how do you choose proper books that will fit the whole class and what is the procedure?

Reading, evaluating, and discussing books is the main procedure.After reading Travis Jonker’s blog post, I have learned a few tips to consider when choosing Mock Caldecott books.

1-What is the story, theme, or concept of the book?
2-Have a physical copy of the books for the class
3-Picture books work better, especially with the illustration. However, don’t forget to consider other components such as; written text, design of the book, etc.

I have never done any Mock Caldecott, I have to say it does sound somewhat difficult. However, I believe the more practice there is between students and teacher, it will get easier, especially, when everyone has a certain theme in mind. I also believe it would be a great idea for teachers to get together and discuss various bools. Guided reading stations would be a great start, I believe. Last year I got the opportunity to observe a second grade class and every Monday two classes would get into groups and read and discuss a book of their choice. They also had a sheet they had to fill out as they read the book. It would be a great idea to save all these sheets and review them at the end of the year to find out which books were the most popular among the students and why they taught so. Did any of the discussed books win? Lets find out…



What Am I Reading?

SlavesI have continued with my reading on the book, To Be a Slave, by Julius Lester. I am definitely enjoying this book as the ex-slaves re-tell their harsh stories and everything they had to endure before slavery ended. This book is a great resource which will help to educate children and readers overall about the dehumanizing and cruel events black slaves had to go through back in the day.

So far we have been introduced to the many things the slaves had to go through. Corporal punishment was the main thing slaves had to go through everyday, especially, when they tried to run away or did not listened to their owners. Separation of families continues to happen over and over again as I continue to learn about the auction block. At this auction, owners would sell and buy slaves in order for them to continue working in their fields. The rich people with money were the ones who were able to pick and choose who they would take with them. Once the slaves were bought, they had to walk and walk for several weeks, sometimes months in order to reach their destination where their new “home” would be.

To be continued…

It is Monday! What Are You Reading?

My son and I came to the library, and I came with hopes to find more Froggy books by Jonathan London. The last time I visited the library, I was only able to find like 3 books about froggy. Well, this time it was worse, as I only found one; Froggy Bakes A Cake. 

Once I began reading this book, I was really into it and laughing about all the silly things Froggy was doing as he was trying to bake a cake for his mom’s birthday. Typical kid, he did not want any help from his father and he knew how to do everything; including making a big mess in the kitchen with all the ingredients. Flour, sugar, chocolate covered flies, milk, eggs, butter, and baking powder were the ingredients which went into the mixing bowl to make the cake. In the middle of the process, he dropped half of the ingredients into the floor making a big mess. “‘Oogelly boogelly burly bake. I make and I bake and I wait for the cake!”‘ sang Froggy as he shoved the cake into the oven… Read the book to find out what happens to the cake. Do you think his mother is going to love the cake?

I also read a second Caldecott Honor book, Frederick, by Leo Lionni. Four busy little mice work hard to prepare for the winter as they gather food. All of them work very hard except one, Frederick. While they gather, grass, seeds, nuts, berries and other things, Frederick is lost in the beauty he sees around him, absorbing the suns rays and the colors. But how is this supposed to help him survive in the winter? This book is full of color and I believe a second or third grader would enjoy this book. I also believe it sends a message that everyone should work together as a team because everyone will benefit at the end.

Reading Meme…

Photo CC: by Google search 

All this semester I have continued with my reading, and have read a lot of interesting books. At one point, I did my reading meme about sunsets. However, I decided to change it to It Is Monday! What Are You Reading? meme. If I remember correctly, I never did announce it to my fellow classmates.

All in all, I am excited to announce that I have kept up with my reading and my meme. With the Froggy books, I do need to go back to the library and find more books by Jonathan London; such a great author!

It Is Monday! What Are You Reading?

It is Thanksgiving weekend and we have all been busy, I know I have. To be honest I have not been reading as much as I probably should. However, there was a nice book I finally took the time to start reading, it is call To Be a Slave, by Julius Lester.

Photo CC: by Amazon.com

This is a Newbery Honor book which discusses how Africans were forced to migrate under duress to serve as slaves for the American people, (slave owners). Many of them were sold, or traded as if they were merchandise. The stories told in this book are from real “slaves” who actually experienced this situation themselves and worked hard for freedom…

Many of the stories told in the book will definitely change the way you look at life, especially,  as these ex-slaves re-tell their lives as slaves! This is a great book to be used in a fifth grade lesson plan about history. I believe their stories would help the student’s to see life from a different perspective!

The Power Of Technology-Skype!

Photo CC: by Pearson Education

I have heard about Skype before, in fact, I have used it to video chat with my family in Mexico. However, it never crossed my mind that it was also used in the classrooms for authors to skype/chat with students. It is very clear that the new virtual world we are living in has a lot of potential to offer, such as skypping with various authors without having to leave the classroom and with them not having to travel to different states or across the country!

As a future teacher, this is something I will definitely keep in mind to use in my classroom. I am planning on teaching third grade and under. So with so much technology involved, I would have to make sure the students are properly trained on how to use the equipment properly and how to be respectful at all times while skypping with the author.  In the article, The Skyping Renaissancehttp://www.slj.com/2014/11/technology/the-skyping-renaissance/  Messner and author Marty Kelly, mentioned that ‘“A fifth grade class spent the entire 40-minute visit making faces at themselves on their monitor.” This is precisely why it is very important for teachers to acquaint the students with Skype before they visit with an author. I believe it would be very disappointing/embarrassing for both the teacher and author if everything turned into a disaster instead of a learning lesson.

Photo CC: by Practical Practice Management 

As I read through this article and the connection between authors and students, it reminded me of the book, Dear. Mr. Heshaw by Beverly Clearly I read about a month… In this story, we meet Leigh Botts, who is in fourth grade now. The first time Leigh wrote to Mr. Henshaw, an author of children’s book, he was in second grade. All these time until now he has kept in touch with Mr. Henshaw and through his writing, he tells him all about his life and things going on. Through his writing, Leigh asked for advice from Mr. Henshaw as to how he can become a better writer? However, I believe Leigh has not figure out that he is a great writer as he tells us and Mr. Henshaw all bout his life.

I can see a great advantage through the use of Skype in the classrooms for authors visits. As previously mentioned, it would be a great tool to use in my classroom. I believe that through this method, the children would be more engaged in their reading and eager to meet and talk to various authors! If I had the opportunity to meet an author, I would love to meet Judy Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones books. Her books are great, incorporate Spanish words, and most important of all, they include humor!

Skippyjon Jones
Photo CC: by Amazon.com