Flora & Ulysses Book Discussion

14 Nov

16052012Although I had only a small crowd for our 3rd and 4th grade book discussion on Wednesday evening, the kids had a great time talking about the book, making their own squirrel-inspired poetry and getting to know each other.  I always (always, always) have a few kids whose parents sign them up for a book discussion, but don’t actually read the book… making it very difficult to discuss the book.  That being said (and especially for this age group) I like to make sure we add an activity, craft, or game to part of our book discussion and try and ask a few questions that may not be book-focused, but more open-ended.  Such as, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  And why?”  I would have loved to get more into questions about the vocabulary of the book, but a few kids had trouble understanding the importance of the lamp that Flora’s mother loved so much and couldn’t comprehend the idea that William Spiver was never actually blind to begin with.  I wish we had had more time to talk about both issues!  Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo has a wonderful book trailer as well as great teacher resources!

The kids did a great job with their poetry – I only handed out the little golf pencils we have and a piece of paper, encouraging them to find their inner-squirrel, not worry about making mistakes, and reminding them that poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme.

As I said, we don’t get many kids for this program, but I like offering a book discussion in the fall and spring and a few during the Summer Reading Program as a place for readers to come together and talk about the books they are reading.  If anyone has any great suggestions for third and fourth graders, I’m looking for an option for our spring discussion!

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