Read Plant A Kiss (Amy Krouse Rosenthal's new book) to a group of second graders today, continuing our work on developing opinions about texts. If you haven't read the book, it's another one of those that teaches an important life lesson (I thought there were actually three life-lessons included...), well worth sharing. Plus, you can't go wrong with Peter Reynolds, who did the illustrations (as anyone who knows me would expect me to say!!). (Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and preview the book.)
Opened it up for discussion, asking simply, "So what did you think?"
One second grader shared, "I think the character was very courageous because she took a risk by planting the kiss, then going against everyone's advice by sharing the joy and magic with others." Wowsers! We followed up her comment with some clarifications and affirmations. Open-ended discussions can be great like that--students modeling critical thinking for other students, students putting all that great vocabulary teaching into action, and students surprising even their teachers! (We also had several girls say they really liked the use of glitter in the book--yep, if you're a glitter fan, this book is for you!)
I love teaching. I love giving students the opportunity to build their thinking through supportive, natural exchanges. Hooray for us--there are so many great books out there to spark great conversation!
More good stuff:
Amy Krouse Rosenthal's website: http://www.whoisamy.com/
Peter Reynold's website: http://www.peterhreynolds.com/
My blog posting about open-ended discussions (which includes a link to a useful handout :) http://janielwagstaff.blogspot.com/2012/03/updated-info-for-open-ended-discussions.html