I’m a rule follower, excellent at following directions and getting things done on time, but I’ve always admired people that take a different path – who have minds so creative, ingenious and unafraid that they feel comfortable completely departing from the norm to create something new. I think the best projects take a combination of rule followers and dreamers to be successful.
In Going Places, Rafael is just like me. He is so excited when his class receives go-cart kits. All the students are to build the kit and then have a race. Rafael goes home and builds the kit, following the directions to the letter. His go-cart looks exactly like the picture. He decides to check on his friend and next door neighbor, Maya to see how she is progressing. He sees her sitting in her yard staring at a bird on a tree and then at a bird flying. When she builds her go cart, it doesn’t look at all like the picture on the kit. It looks more like an awkward flying machine. When Rafael asks Maya why she didn’t building a go-cart, she says that no one said she had to build a go-cart. Rafael sees where Maya is going with her project and asks if they can team up. Nothing in the rules says that they can’t team up.
The result? A plane! As they roll up to the start line, other kids laugh. It’s clear that everyone else in the class has followed the directions exactly, just as Rafael had. When the race starts, the go-carts take off. The plane doesn’t move; but, then it does move…past all those go-carts. Rafael and Maya fly to the finish line well ahead of their competitors. As they roll to a stop, Maya sees a frog jumping off a rock in the lake. She turns to Rafael and smiles. He smiles back. Guess what they build next? 🙂
This is a wonderful book that makes you cheer for all your dreamers and the rule followers can spot a great idea and help bring it to reality.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is one of my favorite fall books. Fletcher is a little fox who discovers that his favorite tree is changing. He begins to worry about his tree when the tree’s leaves turn brown and then begin dropping off. Fletcher tries to fix his tree, trying to tie the leaves back onto the tree. He is distraught when a squirrel and porcupine make off with the fallen leaves. When the tree is finally bare, Fletcher takes the last leaf and makes a little bed for it in his room. The next day, winter has arrived, and Fletcher is amazed at the sight of his tree shimmering with icicles.
This story is very sweet, but what really makes it a keeper are the incredible illustrations of Tiphanie Beeke. Her water colors are beautiful, and my students always love the last “shimmery” page.
I love to read this to my K-1 students and talk to them about the life cycles of trees.
This was a fun read. Here’s your opportunity to use different voices, if you’re so inclined. The illustrations are really cute and it was great watching my students smiling and then clapping at the end of the book.
Big dinosaur wants little dinosaur’s jelly beans. Little dinosaur can’t give them away, because they belong to his friend. Big dinosaur really wants those jelly beans… a lot. The little dinosaur says his friend is really, really, really big. “Everyone knows I’m the biggest and strongest dinosaur around here!” Big dinosaur starts boasting about all the ways he is better than little dinosaur’s friend. Ooops. Big dinosaur gets his just desserts in a very funny way.