Sunday, June 2, 2013

Goodness Gracious Me! Adventures with Hattie and the Fox

When I first picked up a copy of Hattie and the Fox I wasn't impressed. I was young, naive, and hadn't enjoyed years of reading books aloud to kids.

After a year or so of reading Hattie and the Fox with classes I'm utterly in love with it. Maybe it's the repetition, maybe it's getting to exclaim in a very dramatic fashion "GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME!", maybe it's getting six year olds to exclaim "GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME!" or maybe it's just watching six year olds yell "MOOOO" at the pivotal plot moment.

At my old school I had a big book copy (that I horded in my room and only returned to our book room at the end of the year, only to check it out again in September), but this year I only had a small, regular size book. This makes it a bit more difficult to get every student involved in the reading, but we didn't let that stop us. We made our own big book that each child can read independently.

 Now each child is in the process of writing their own version (so many great word wall words, AND it reinforces body parts for those who need it).

We also have all the characters and a barn thanks to our awesome Donors Choose donors, so we're able to act out the story to practice our retelling skills. I LOVE listening in as the kids independently act out the story. It kills me to have to give them the teacher look when they loudly yell "MOOOO!" while holding the cow. It's really not appropriate to retell the story without yelling Moo, but it's not appropriate to yell during reading workshop. It's a tough life.

We've also started practicing for our Readers' Theater of Hattie. It's perfect for my class because it has non-speaking parts (the fox), limited speaking parts where characters get to have serious attitude ("WHO cares?") while simply repeating the same phrase over and over again, while still giving higher readers a chance to be Hattie. Everyone gets to work on reading with fluency, everyone gets to work on identifying characters and setting in a book, and everyone (hopefully) gets to have fun.

 So much literacy crammed into one little story.

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