Thursday, 12 June 2014

Let's Talk About Books - Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

My family blessed me with a truckload of picture books for my birthday this weekend. There are so many wonderful picture books for children these days. Still, one of the classic staples for every teacher is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.

 For those who are unfamiliar with the book, it is about a young mouse who has a very long and beautiful name, ChrysanthemumShe loves her names so much, until she starts school and a another mouse called Victoria teases her about it. So naturally, she dislikes her name after that. Until her music teacher, who also has a long name, teaches the class just how special and beautiful her name is.

My favourite part of the story is when the other "mean" mice discover that they all want long beautiful names too. And then Chrysanthemum dances off all happy with rainbows in the sky :)

It is a fantastic book to start the year off. There are so many great name based activities that can be done after reading this book.

Here's what I get my students to do after reading the book:

*We talk about friendly/unfriendly behaviour first. Listing the things people did in the book that were unfriendly. We discuss name calling and how it is a no-go at school.

*We talk about how special our names are. I usually do some sort of craft such as name rockets, or get the students to print their name and we count and graph the number of letters.

*And then, I get them to draw me what they are good at or like doing and we scribe their responses. I like to hang these up so their classmates can get to know what their peers are good at/like doing.

Hope I gave you some ideas to use in your classroom and convinced you that this is a must own book for every teacher of young children!

Till next time,

Stay joyful!

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