Monday, September 30, 2013

Favorite Books About School

I am happy to be joining Poppins Book Nook and wonderful blogger friends to share books about school. When I asked Smarty (she is in second grade) to name her favorite series about school, she named Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and we had a lively discussion on whether it was about school or not. She didn’t read Harry Potter yet, otherwise I am sure it would probably top the list Smile Her next response was My Weird School and My Weirder School series by Dan Gutman. She read a large number of these books, since she enjoys humor, but I didn’t really get a good description from her what these books were about, and I didn’t read any myself. So I am instead presenting her third choice that was my top choice – Humphrey series by Betty G. Birney.
The World
The main character of The World According to Humphrey (the first book in the series that now has 7 or 8 books) is a hamster who lives in a classroom. He is also a narrator of the book. Humphrey is an extraordinary hamster who can read and write. He has a lot of adventures in the classroom and while visiting for weekends with different kids in his class and eventually with the teacher who appears to hate him at first. Every chapter is a mini-story with a problem and a resolution, and there is also an arc throughout the book. As an adult reader, I thought this book was brilliantly done, and I probably should read some of the other books in these series.

Looking at the World Through Someone Else’s Eyes

Since the book is narrated by a hamster, I asked daughter to pretend that she is a hamster living in her classroom and describe me her classroom. That didn’t work too well, since she quoted me practically word-by-word passages from the book instead of coming with her own thoughts. So I changed the scene and asked her to imagine that she is a circus performer and describe what is happening during and after a circus performance. We went to circus about a month ago, and it was very interesting to see through this exercise what impressed her most and left a mark in her memory. Something in her narrative cracked me up, After the performance is over, I go and get paid. Since I have a lot of things to do during the show, I get paid a lot. I get $50 for my work.

Playing School

IMG_1058Every child loves to take a role of a teacher. Unfortunately, as an only child, Smarty doesn’t get to teach others often enough, but I love to see her interact with younger children of our friends. It’s fun to hear her explain things using her most encouraging voice and cheering her little friends saying, you are doing a good job, you are almost there! Her father has a gift of breaking things down into easy to comprehend pieces, and it looks like Smarty inherited these abilities as well.
We also played school at home when I asked her to choose a subject to teach me and received a detailed lesson on vowels and their sounds. She even made me a homework worksheet to go along with the lesson. According to her, her school will teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and how to be kind to others, and we will also have a lot of vacation time. Sounds like a plan to me!


Ticia said...

It's interesting, but you're the 2nd person to mention Percy Jackson for this theme, and it never even occurred to me.

We used Harry Potter for the wizards theme, and the kids loved it.

I just thought of another chapter book about this theme, "Sideways Stories from Wayside School." That would be a fun one to do, I bet your daughter would love it.

Ashley said...

Looks like she had a great time! It is amazing to think how quickly kids mature. Mine are kindergarten now, and I know it will happen, but it seems impossible for them to be that advanced in just a couple years!

Christy Killoran said...

I'll have to check out that book! Funny that Ticia mentioned Wayside School because Collin is reading that right now!

Marie-Claude Leroux said...

Smarty is such a prolific reader - I am always so impressed! Too cute that she taught you vowels!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I was also going to recommend "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" - I remember enjoying that book as a kid, and need to get a copy for Emma. I need to look into some of the ones you have recommended here.

Anonymous said...

So glad to have you participating in the Poppins Book Nook! Those are some very cute tie ins to the book that you and Smarty did. We don't have a hamster but we do have four dogs that come to school every day and it is fun to act like our school friends from time to time. I can't wait to see what you are going to do for our next topic of seasons.

Tina at said...

You've peaked my curiosity. I wonder what books my daughter would name if asked this question. I'll be asking tomorrow for sure! Thanks for linking up with Booknificent Thursday!