Today as I read aloud, I savored the time we had thinking about these same lessons (and doing lots of the thinking work of asking questions) while reading a picture book. Reading aloud is my favorite time of day and because of that, I try to do it as often as I can. If you are believer in the interactive read aloud (where the kids thinking drives the community's understanding) as I am, you know how much they can learn when they have time to talk throughout the story.
I chose this book today because I have a student who really needs practice letting go of things (little things).
As I read, students shared their thoughts aloud: "She is not afraid anymore" and "Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick are friends now!" I know bullying is an important issue but I think we can sometimes isolate kids when we just define it and over emphasize who is bullying; we need to help kids help each other. I like this book because it embraces how we are more the same than different, a concept (even young ones) can begin figuring out. So later we read:
As I read aloud it one little girl said, "I am friends with lots of kids. Not ones that look just like me. I am friends with everyone in here and they don't all have the same kind of hair that I have." Then later someone said:
"Windy Pants Patrick and Freckleface Strawberry listened to their hearts."
These stories have supported the work we are doing as readers who ask and answer questions about text but most importantly they are helping us answer questions about ourselves.