Two themes were dominating our reading this week. First of all, we read quite a few books about history of Thanksgiving – see them in this post. Secondly, we also read a few books about houses, since we are kind of following reading curriculum from Houghton Mifflin and now we are in Houses theme for the first grade. Essentially I just use suggested reading list and pick books that are available in our library from Teacher Read Alouds and for “Above level” sections. Above level books are usually too easy for Smarty, but the content is spot on, so she ends up reading those books many times to herself.
Smarty's favorite book of the week was yet again What Do People Do All Day? – we own it, and she seems to select it every three months or so and pours over selected stories from this book. Right now her favorite is about bread making. Smarty always likes books that explains how things work or what people do in a playful manner – unfortunately, she doesn’t connect to Magic School Bus series in the same way, at least not yet.
We haven’t read A House for Hermit Crab before even though we seem to be picking up one book by Eric Carle every time we go to the library (Smarty has her favorites that she likes to read many times). My favorite part in this book was a lesson on manners. I drew Smarty's attention to how the Hermit Crab had something nice to say to each of the creatures he met in his travels and how nice he was eventually giving his house to a smaller crab. It’s a nice story to read while sitting in a warm house in front of a fireplace.
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman is another classic that we already read several times before. The poem is somewhat long (especially if there is “why” and “what if” on every page), but I think it’s great on many levels including advanced vocabulary, classification and creative thinking. Every time we read it Smarty has different ideas and different questions about the book, and I really appreciate the books that can grow like this with the reader. I think all three books I reviewed so far belong to this category.
Annie’s Good Move is part of Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant. We tried them before, but somehow Smarty couldn’t quite connect to the story. Maybe it’s because she is not a big fan of big dogs, and Henry clearly looks like an older child than she is. She seems to enjoy the fact that this story includes Henry’s cousin Annie, so we might try some of the books in the series that talk about Annie’s adventures.