Re reading books

sols_6Books can be read over and over again because they take on a different meaning or significance depending on who you are reading it to, or when you are reading it. I love that about books!

This year on Valentines Day I pulled out two books I used last year. One of the books lots of you reviewed last week – I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder.  What are great little book to share and to write from. search We were all set to use one haiku on our message board in the morning as a hint to one of our activities for the day. It didn’t happen but it is still a good idea. (maybe we will use it in April for poetry month.)

The day began with a blur of shared cards and gifts and way to much excitement. We needed a way to settle and focus so I pulled out Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli.

Last year this book was liked by my class and they thought it was cute but … This year we talked about how Valentines Day is about kindness. We watched Kid Presidents Pep Talk about being awesome and I asked imgresthem to think about how this might apply to Mr. Hatch.

I began reading and there was still the shifting of bodies and talking. Ok, so they are not crazy about this book either.  But I love this book so I kept reading. By page four they were quiet and excited that someone loves Mr. Hatch. By page 18 they are almost in tears. There was a hush across the room. Then the whispers  “How can this happen to Mr. Hatch?”  “This is a sad book.”

As we ended the story the discussion was in full swing.

  • What made this a good book?
  • I liked how the characters changed
  • Can we write stories about how we made some one feel better?
  • Who do we know who might need to hear from a friend today?

This book had so much more energy this year with this group of students. The difference surprised me. I was delighted and happy to let the students lead the way in what they might like to write in response to this book.

The haiku lesson can wait for another day!

It is nice when you revisit a book and it surprises you!  What book should you reread this week?

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Book Review, Teaching, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Re reading books

  1. elsie says:

    Isn’t it interesting how the class reacted to the book? Each class brings its own schema to the books.

  2. Such a great reminder….I am doing this book on Friday, don’t tell….it isn’t in my intervention. I’m so glad that your kids got into it. I love his last name, because that is what they call my husband …Hatch! xo

    • I am guess with a bit of thinking you could fit it into an intervention. Lots of modeling of what good readers do and what good writers do! My students also noted the color change that the illustrator did and how that added to our feelings and understanding of the story. There is so much to work with in this little book. Have fun!

  3. PS I always make those tangential connections…just like the kids. 🙂

  4. Lindy Lou says:

    Great example of teaching in the moment. It’s great that you know your books and have them handy for those moments.

  5. Tara Smith says:

    Year to year and class to class, I always look forward to these different interpretations. It makes the whole readaloud so much more interesting.

  6. Jessica says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad I read your post. I have been doing a series of class meetings with my class. We have been struggling with many things, but the way we treat each other has especially been causing me heartache. This week, I wanted to devote my class meetings to kindness. I want my kiddos to realize that the way they treat each other is important; I want them to support each other instead of bringing each other down.

    After reading your post, I looked up Kid President and Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. I will definitely be using both of them ASAP! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. Hope this helps. Have you read Enemy Pie with them. It is another great book about making friends. I also have used Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. As you can tell I have been in this place before. I am always looking for books that can help us learn how to care for each other. Good Luck!

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