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The mock results are in | Class #6, fall 2016

To make their award committee experience more authentic, each group brought snacks.

On Wednesday night, November 30, we held our last children’s lit class of the semester. We read Charlotte’s Web and had a good discussion about unlikely friendships, death in children’s books, and the benefits of reading aloud. Then we got to the big event: mock book award groups. Each student had nominated an eligible book […]

Mock book awards | Class #6, fall 2016

mock_caldecott_hgse_fall2016

During our last class on November 30, students will meet in mock award groups. At the first class, we formed five award committees based on students’ personal preferences. We’ve got a Geisel committee, a Sibert committee, and three Caldecott committees. Each student nominated one or two 2016 books which they will present to their group […]

Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, fall 2016

award_on_charlottes_web

Our class won’t meet next Wednesday because of Thanksgiving, so this post is going up early. During our last class meeting (November 30), we will be holding five mock book award sessions. There are three Caldecott groups and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Check out the books they have nominated here [link to come] […]

Teaching poetry

Poetrees

In a short 6-week module like the one I teach at Harvard Ed School, time is the enemy. My quixotic goal for this too-short class is to expose students to all aspects of children’s literature, in breadth and in depth. Of course, every year and there is something I wish we had discussed in more […]

Sarah S. Brannen and Ekua Holmes

Photo: Pamela Mason

During last night’s class, we had two guests: Sarah S. Brannen and Ekua Holmes, both illustrators of information books we were reading for this week. Sarah S. Brannen illustrated Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart and has nearly twenty books under her belt. Ekua Holmes has one book out so far: Voice of […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

Folklore and poetry

For our class on November 16, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Why teachers should know the Virtual History Exhibit

VHEgallery_map_900x685

We have an opening in the post schedule this week because there’s no class tonight, so I want to make a plug for our Virtual History Exhibit which displays items from our archives over the past 100 years. Because of our unique place in the history of children’s books in the US, the VHE has […]

Information books | Class #4, fall 2016

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Our next class will be in two weeks, on November 9. We’ll be talking about five information books: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier Voice of Freedom: Fannie […]

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2016

julian_joey_omakayas

This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

Questions from Molly Bang | Class #2, fall 2016

Picture This

We are looking forward to welcoming Molly Bang to our next class on October 19. One of the things that makes Molly unique as a guest speaker is that she likes her visits to be learning experiences — for herself. One year she focused on a book that she thought didn’t work very well. It […]