Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thinking First Grade: I Can Help by David Hyde Costello

Next year I am heading back to first grade. I love having the summer to find simple new picture books that I can read aloud once and know they will fit right into the hands of most first grade readers. I know the first month of reading workshop for first graders is planting seeds for loving reading, sharing books, helping kids learn how to find books, find a reading spot, and then modeling reading to self and with others for a short period of time. I really am not over-concerned with them choosing an appropriate "level" the first month of school(in fact, I do everything I can to avoid that). I want them to have a variety of books to choose from that they are interested in reading: song books, wordless picture books, series picture books, poetry, non-fiction, and repetitive picture books.

The newest book I am adding to my classroom library is I Can Help by David Hyde Costello.
It is a repetitive picture book. The story begins with a picture of a little duck happily walking through some reeds. His expression changes on the following page as you find out, he is lost. A curious monkey offers to help and duck the cycle of help and appreciation begins. Uh, Oh. I'm falling. (says the can you guess who might be tall enough to catch a falling monkey..yep a giraffe) Thank You Giraffe! The alternation between helping and thanking continues through the story with other animals. The ending is circular as little duck needs some help again.

After reading I Can Help a few times, I thought about how it will help kids to think in many ways. The repetition will have them begin predicting text and events. There is some subtle inferring work I can pose with which character is speaking, problem-solution and picture inferencing. I know that it will help us as we study high frequency words like...can, thank, you, have. It will be a place for them to read these words and use the book as a reference to check words in their own writing. Finally, it will be a great mentor text for writers when we study pattern books early in the year. I love books that are versatile enough to meet literacy needs across the day!


Mandy said...

So funny, I just wrote a post later in the week for this book. Good shoppers pick good titles together. Look for my thinking, a bit different and thanks for yours.

katied said...

Mandy- I checked before posting and wondered when your post might be up. Looking forward to reading it!!

Pragmatic Mom said...

I love picture books too!

I wanted to share my favorite picture book list with you from my blog at

It's Favorite Picture Books that You've Never Heard of.

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on children's lit, education and parenting