Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hot Off The Shelves #5

Banjo Granny, by Sarah Martin Busse and her mom, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, is kind of a modern day tall tale about a grandma who puts on her "thousand-mile shoes" and treks across a river, a mountain, and a desert to be with her grandson.
The words, rhythmic and playful, along with the soft illustrations, represent the huge "grandma-love" that I hear about when I talk to grandparents. (I'm sure you've heard it too: "There is no other love that compares to that of a grandparent for a grandchild.")
Writing Minilesson Ideas:
1. Word choice ("When Owens' granny heard he was a baby who went wiggly, jiggly, all-around giggly , and tip over tumble for bluegrass music, she packed her banjo in its trusty case with the taped-up handle.")
2. Hyphenated adjectives ("Owen woke up to a rosy-posy sunflower day.")
3. Compound and simple sentences
4. Repeated line
5. This book could stimulate ideas for writing about grandparents.
6. This book talks about bluegrass music, so you could let your students listen to some bluegrass and compare it other types of music. You can compare different types of music to different types of voice in writing. (The first verse of a song called Owen's Song is included in the book. Maybe the Music teacher at your school could play it for your class!)
Reading Minilessons:
1. Sequencing
2. Visualizing: This would be a really nice one to read without showing the pictures first. Allow the students to visualize (maybe even draw) as you read the story. Compare their visualizations to the actual illustrations. Discuss how visualization is helpful in comprehension.
3. Making connections: Most students can make connections about their own grandparents.
The grandma in this book travels from her home in Iowa to her grandsons' home in the San Fransisco Bay Area in California. There is a map here, so you could even tie this book to geography!
Make your own trek to the library and grab sweet Banjo Granny. You'll be glad you did.