Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's Talk About Books! {June 10th}

Can you tell I just discovered linky blogs?  I'm so excited to bring you a linky blog that is RIGHT up my alley!  It's the Let's Talk About Books blog hosted by Mrsjumpsclass.  She is quite an inspiration, so make sure to check out her blog (and all others).

Since I teach slightly older grades, I might talk about books that are more suited for grades 5-6-7-8.  Sometimes I'll switch it up, you never know!  So make sure to start following my blog (easy peasy - just enter your e-mail to the right) and you'll never miss a blog post again!  How lucky :)

This week, I'm going to talk about a book that I've been reading with my class for a couple of years now : A Series of Unfortunate Events : A Bad Beginning.

Why I love it

There are a couple of reasons why I love reading this book with my students : 

1 - It's a series.  In fact, this year, different from other years, I read books 1-3 with them.  I always read aloud and we do various activities.  But the great thing about reading a series with your students is that they get more involved in the characters.  They want to know what happens next and usually, they're super excited to pick up the next book at the library themselves!  Isn't that what you want?  For them to be interested in reading?  This book is perfect for that! 

2 - They made it into a movie.  I don't watch a lot of movies in my classroom, maybe 1-2 a year, but if I'm going to watch a movie with them, I do relate it back to something we're learning in the classroom.  Having this movie allows me to teach comparison (we compare the book to the movie), but it also allows me to talk about main ideas and summarizing.  In this case, they took 3 books and condensed it into 1 movie.  We were able to discuss and highlight the main ideas that they took from the books and see if they missed any major plot lines that made the books even better.

3 - Boys and girls enjoy this book.  That's right, it's a fun one for everyone!  There's enough adventure and action to satisfy the boys and yet a nice (well, sort of - you'll see what I mean in the What's it about section) story for the girls.  

4 - GREAT vocabulary!  Throughout the series, the author uses so many wonderful words, and always explains - in this case, explains meaning to describe to someone so they can understand what you mean - the meaning of the word in that particular context (a little like how I just did).  It's fantastic for your Word Wall.

What's it about 

This book is about the three Beaudelaire children (Violet, Klaus and Sunny).  It starts off with a letter from Lemony Snicket warning readings that this book is not a happy book and reader beware.  Of course, when I ask my students if they are sure they want to continue, they all scream yes!  Corny, sure, but it sure gets them motivated and involved in the story right from the beginning!

The Beaudelaire children become orphans very early in the book and are sent to live with their only close relative, Count Olaf.  Count Olaf is a big meany and treats the children horribly.  The children are very smart and wonderful, each with their own great personality traits, that come in handy when having to mud through all that is dealt to them.

This book is about how the Beaudelaire children survive after their parents death and Count Olaf trying to get the familly fortune.  A very interesting read, but I don't want to say too much more!  It's a great book, even for adults.  

 So there you have it.  If you are teaching grades 5-6-7-8 next year and are looking for a great book to read to your students, I highly recommend this series!  Pick it up this summer, read it and let me know what you think!

Have fun reading!

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