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Hi- Sorry I took so long to post a hit. I received great responses. I am
going to use each and every lesson at some point during the year. I went with a
lesson on Day of the Dead and Halloween. Reading a non-fiction book on Day of
the Dead called Pablo Remembers . I had the students do a Venn Diagram (on
orange paper) comparing the two holidays. They were then instricted to compose a
letter to Pablo telling him what they thought about his holiday and telling him
aboaut theirs. The lesson went well. Anyway... thanks to all that responded. I
hope I captured everybody's response.

I have used And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, by Janet Stevens with alot
of excitement from the children and the thanks of the teachers, although not
as an observation lesson so far. I centered the lesson on map skills, by making
copies of the map in the book and having students trace the route (north of
the haystack, etc.) that the runaway dish and spoon took as the book was read.
This reinforces directional skills and also gives you a jumping off point for
discussing a number of familiar nursery rhymes with an unusual twist to the
Hey Diddle, Diddle Rhyme.

I was observed doing a third grade class comparing fiction and non-fiction.
Not a lot of visuals, but when I talked about non-fiction books about my
supervisor liked me pointing out 'text features' like caption, heading, and even
pointing out the introduction.  We compared books on ants (non-fiction) to Two
Bad Ants (? did I get that title right) by Van Allsburg

In the past, I have used Arthur's Teacher's Troubles - on the computer.  This
way you are incorporating information technology via the computer.  On one
page, Arthur's mother bakes chocolate chip cookies - click on the cookies - they
sing! Have children interact with the story by clicking on the mouse.  You
could colloborate with the classroom and have them bake chocolate cookies to
serve in the library at the end of the lesson.  I also love the cutout stories.
There is one where you take a piece of orange paper, tell the story, cut out
the pieces according to the directons, and at the end of the story - you have a
little jack-o-lantern.  Or you could use A Story A Story by Gale Haley
(spellling) - this an Anansi the spider story about the origin of all the stories in
the world.  You can wrap a shoe box in gold foil, fill it with gold glitter,
and sprinkle the children with stories from around the world.  Have fun

One thing I did this year that was a hit with teachers and students was a
lesson on sorting and classifying.  We talked first about collections--baseball
cards, Yu-gi-oh, etc.  I asked the students if they just tossed them together,
or if they sorted them.  We talked about
different ways to sort baseball cards--by team, by position, by ranking, etc.
 Then the fun part started--I had 10 different types of candy.  I had the
kids work in teams, and told them they had to come up with a way to sort the
candy, and had to choose one person on the team to explain it to the class.  Some
made only two piles--chocolate, not chocolate--but the best sorting was by
type of candy, then by color (Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, for example.)  Then I
told them a bit about Mr. Dewey, and how he wanted to find a way that all
libraries could sort their books. I told them he devised 10 big categories, like the
10 types of candy, then smaller categories within those, like sorting
Starburst into yellow, red, green.  It seemed to really click with them.  It also
helped that they got to pick one piece of candy for an end-of-class treat.

One caveat--check the allergy list for the class first, since it's hard to
find chocolate that isn't processed near peanuts.  I had to buy enough candy for
120 third graders, so I hit Wal-Mart.  If you only have to do one class, you
can always keep the rest for Halloween:)  Don't do what I did, and keep the
rest in the library--I think I gained 5 pounds after this activity, from
snacking on the leftovers!

I just had an observation with a 2nd grade class and it went really well.  It
would probably be even better for third grade.  I wish I had my paperwork
with me at home but I can sketch it out for you.

We read Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger.  The students were to draw
conclusions about the stranger's identity based on the clues they picked up in the
story.  I told them they were the detectives and they had to solve the mystery.
(In case you're not familiar with the story, the stranger is Jack Frost.
It's perfect for this time of year - it's all about fall - leaves changing color,
winter coming)  The kids did a great job the finding clues.  I made a
worksheet with three leaves on top.  They were to select three clues and write them
inside the leaves.  Then at the bottom of the worksheet, they were to write, "I
think the stranger is . . . (Their conclusion), because . . . (the clues).  I
told them this was their detective report.

This meets lots of our Language Arts state standards:  (I'm paraphrasing) -
listening to stories, reading for information, writing to give information.
There were others but I can't think now.  The primary objective was for students
to gather information from text and make conclusions based on that
information.  I could tell students had met the goal if they were able to write 
inside the leaves and write a "report" detailing their conclusion

Get the classroom teacher to read or review the original story of sleeping
beauty.  Then when your students come in, write down everything they remember
about it.  List the information under headings of character, plot (beginning,
middle, end) problem, setting. Then you read Sleepless Beauty, and either add a
column to your  list, or do a Venn Diagram comparing the two stories.  Perhaps
you can end by holding up other "fractured" fairy tales ( and maybe the
classroom teacher will then be working toward students writing their own stories)

Perhaps you can discuss how fiction books are arranged in alphabetical order
by the author's last name.  Have a few students come up to the board and write
down what their call number would be if they wrote a book.  Then go to tables
(5 centers).  Have students put real books into abc order, which varying
degrees of difficulty (all same first letter, all different beginning letters, but
not in order etc. and have one center with a worksheet where call numbers are
written down. I also made train cars with letters on them, and put velcro on
the back. Students get to stick the train cars onto the flannel board in abc
order. Give students three to five minutes to work (watch to see how they're
doing) and then have them switch centers. You may want to have six centers, but
the same things at three of them so they only have to switch three times. If
they finish quickly, they may browse through the books at their table.

 The lesson I did last year that the 3rd graders enjoyed the most was looking
things up in the kids' almanac. I scoured up enough old and new copies so
most or all had their own, and looked through them and found intriguing things to
tell them to find. My kids love those almanacs, even better than the Guinness

 I'm doing "Duck For President" by Doreen Cronin with my third graders.  We
are listing election words, discussing democracy, etc; and the children are
going to design and produce a campaign poster in the classroom for library

Debbie Bergen
LMS Archer Street Elementary
Freeport NY

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