During their first class in the library this year, I asked the school’s youngest students to be willing to have fun, be creative, and be brave enough to use their imagination as we tell stories this year. We began by reading this lovely book, This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary.
Then I challenged the students and asked them, Even though you’re SMALL, do you have a BIG IMAGINATION?
Most students said, “Yes!” although some admitted they prefer facts to stories (I thought that was insightful). Then, if the students were feeling very brave, I offered them the chance to use a large cardboard box, a plastic tub, and a bag full of masks and costume accessories to tell a story, just like Sadie. The kids were definitely up for the challenge!
I’m glad the kids were able to be silly and have some fun in the library, and that they know how much fun good stories can be. I’m looking forward to immersing them in more engaging literature as the year moves on!
The library is the perfect place to introduce meaningful books to students, especially since the classroom is so packed with texts that teachers are required to read; the library can be the place where we ensure that students are exposed to books that they really should read. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig is just such a book, one all students should read, especially at the beginning of the year.
The students and I had a discussion about feeling invisible, and the word empathy. I hope that through the reading of good literature, the students will become accustomed to putting themselves in other people’s shoes, and in turn become more empathetic to those around them. It paid off with a 4th grader telling me that at recess she saw a new student playing basketball by himself, and that she introduced herself and asked if she could play, too. She was so proud of how she had recognized that the new student was feeling invisible, and that she could do something to help.
We’ll start journals this week and hopefully keep these text-to-self connections going!