Communication Inspiration from LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

Virtual visits are always a treat, but they take on extra value and depth when students lead the lesson. Such was the case with Laurie Ann Moore’s Copper Hill Elementary (Ringoes, NJ) 3rd-grade class. The students’ readings of their thoughtful and personal poems and presentation of their related artwork not only made for a most-memorable 30-minute visit but also provided a perfect example of just one more way picture books can be used as powerful teaching tools!

Inspired by Light Up the Night to be Creative Communicators

by Laurie Ann Moore

As a teacher who believes in the power of using mentor texts to inspire student writing, one of my favorite projects this year involved using Jean Reidy’s beautiful book Light Up the Night. After I read the book aloud to my students, we talked about the rhythm, rhyme and mood of the prose.  We shared how we all have certain places that make us feel happy and secure just like the boy in the book. We brainstormed places that make us feel this way and then each student wrote a poem about their “own little piece of the universe” with the similar rhyme scheme, rhythm and mood we enjoyed in Light Up the Night. We used a creative presentation app called Wixie by Tech4 Learning to illustrate our poems and put them together into a class slide show using Google Slides. This project was perfect for meeting ISTE standard #6, Creative Communicator- “Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.” Our work is proudly displayed on our class website for all the world to see!

What made this project extra special was that we SKYPED with Jean! Each of the students had a one on one moment to share their poem and artwork with Jean. She celebrated each student’s successes in a remarkably warm, enthusiastic and genuine way.  Her words filled them (and me!) with pride. That was a day I am sure my students will remember and cherish for a long time!

To see more of the students’ artwork and read more of their poems go to – https://www.frsd.k12.nj.us/Page/11289

Laurie Ann Moore has been an educator for 27 years and has enjoyed working with students of all ages. Her passion is technology integration in the classroom. She leads workshops and gives presentations on a variety of technology topics and works with educators inspiring them to effectively use technology in their own classrooms. Follow Laurie Ann on Twitter: @MrsMooreFRSD and see her students’ work at: http://tinyurl.com/MrsMooreCopperHill

 

Teachers and librarians – Check out my page just for you. There you’ll find FREE classroom resources  – including Curriculum Guides linked to learning standards – as well as information on my high-energy, educational and interactive school visits.

Interested in a virtual visit? Check out my Time Out for Teachers page!

Our tiny tortoise TRUMAN has a great big Kirkus star!

KIRKUS REVIEW

A tiny tortoise discovers just how brave he is when his girl unexpectedly takes a bus headed away from home.

Truman, like his girl, Sarah, is quiet, “peaceful and pensive,” unlike the busy, noisy city outside their building’s window. In just the first few spreads, Reidy and Cummins manage to capture the close relationship between the girl and her pet, so it’s understandable that Truman should worry when he adds up the day’s mysterious clues: a big backpack, a large banana, a bow in Sarah’s hair, extra green beans in Truman’s dish, and, especially, Sarah boarding the No. 11 bus. He’s so worried that he decides to go after her, a daunting feat for a tortoise the size of a small doughnut. Cummins’ gouache, brush marker, charcoal, colored pencil, and digital illustrations marvelously convey both the big picture of Truman’s navigation of the house and his tortoise’s-eye view of things. And the ending, when Sarah arrives home in time to scoop him up before he slips under the front door, stuttering her amazement at his brave feats, is just right. Sarah and her mother have pale skin and straight, black hair; other city dwellers are diverse. Peaceful and pensive like Truman himself, this book charms; there’s just something uplifting and wonderful about the whole package.

Never underestimate the feats an animal will brave in order to be reunited with their loved ones. (Picture book. 4-8)

The PUP 681 Curriculum and Storytime Guide is here! And it’s FREE!

Dear Teachers and Librarians,

My latest book PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is based on the true story of Luna, a rescued sea otter who now lives at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. It’s a heart-filled and hopeful tale about family and love which Kirkus – in their STARRED review – calls “unabashedly adorable.”

Whether for a unit on sea otters or mammals or simply as a new addition to your literacy curriculum, my PUP 681 Curriculum and Storytime Guide offers 26 pages of ideas and activities to bring the book to life across a variety of subjects. Developed by an educator and tied to core learning standards, this free resource is my way of saying thank you for all you do. Click here to view it, download it and share it with your fellow teachers and librarians.

And while you’re at it, check out my TIME OUT FOR TEACHERS program offering FREE virtual visits for your classroom. Or how about a school visit? Let’s schedule one today!

Happy reading and thank you for your support!
Jean

Today is the Day! PUP 681 is HERE!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my latest book PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY

Here’s where you can buy your copy: AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound or request it at your library.

 I’ll be celebrating and signing books at (click for more information):

3/16/19  Colorado Book & Arts Festival, Arvada, CO
3/22-23/19   Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO
4/9/19  The BookBar Bookstore Happier Hour Storytime, 4:30, Denver, CO
4/27/19    Independent Bookstore Day at The Bookies, Denver, CO

And here’s my full schedule of appearances – updated daily.

Would you like Autographed Book Stickers? E-mail me.

Teachers and Librarians, see my FREE resources including Virtual Visits and the PUP 681 Curriculum Guide and Storytime Kit. Or how about a school visit? Just e-mail me.

If you’re as excited about PUP 681 as I am, please help me spread the word. Here are some sample tweets to get you started:

Do you know a young reader with enough love to fill an ocean? Then they might love PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

For the young animal lover in your life, PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is a hopeful tale about family and love. It’s available now from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is “unabashedly adorable” (Kirkus STARRED review) and it’s available now from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

With oceans of gratitude,

Jean

Engaging the Picture Book Crowd

Here’s a short piece I wrote a couple of years ago. But it seems even more appropriate on the eve of World Read Aloud Day. Enjoy your reading, everyone!

Engaging the Picture Book Crowd

Whether it’s through quiet, cuddle time, conversation or comic relief, engaging the picture book crowd is a delightful task. I like to tell young readers that when we read a picture book, we don’t just decipher the words. We talk about it. We explore it. We discover it. We relate to it. We might move to it. We might even make a little noise. Because picture books aren’t just about words on a page. They’re about sounds and rhythms and poetry and language and voice and life and … pictures!

I love to stress, with kids, the importance of reading the pictures. After all, the illustrations in a picture book tell over half of the story. It’s a skill that very young children can master and feel proud of. It’s also art appreciation 101. When you ask a group of young kids, “How many of you are artists?” almost every hand goes up.  So when they see picture book illustration as art, they’re introduced to the stories – including their own – that art can tell. I explore with kids the details of an illustration that might tell us more about the central story or a side story or, perhaps, even a different story, than the text reveals.

I rarely read a picture book straight through. I ask a lot of questions. I ask kids to predict what comes after a page turn. I ask them to look for clues as to how the story might end. And, most importantly, I ask them questions that might help them connect a book, in a personal way, to what they know, what they’ve experienced and the world they live in.

Young readers can feel empowered when they contribute to the conversation about a book. By showing them that I value their discoveries, they not only learn that reading a picture book is rewarding, but that they are valued as well.

All materials © 2019 Jean Reidy. Author website by Websy Daisy. Shelly the Turtle designed by Genevieve Leloup.