Close Reading, Grinch Style

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

     My daughter is home with a fever today, which means I am home with a daughter with a fever.  What does one do with a sick daughter?  Go to Pinterest and make Christmas crafts together, of course.

     Her current favorite Christmas character is the Grinch.  So, we made some fun crafts together in honor of the Dr. Seuss seasonal icon.

     It started the other day with some ornaments for our tree.

     Today, we painted a paper plate brown and turned him into a reindeer, just like Max.

     Next, we found a way to make the Grinch by painting a paper plate.  (Pinterest has everything.)

     Then, we drew the Grinch and Max, his dog, following step by step directions we found.  This time, we each drew our own.  Keira was happy that we drew the same things.  Mommy/ Daughter bonding with smelly markers and dot dot markers.

     My favorite thing that Keira made, though, was her own picture of the Grinch.  She clicked on a picture of the Grinch from the ones I had searched in Google, because it was the picture of when he got his "wonderful, awful idea."

     As a literacy coach mom, I immediately thought about how my daughter close read that image.  She knew the exact moment in the story when that happens simply because of the expression on his face.  She has, in fact, noticed some differences between the cartoon version and the book.  But, most impressive to me is that she is inferring a character's feelings using illustrations and story events.  Take this conversation a few hours later:

"Mommy, why do some people hate Christmas?"

"Who hates Christmas?"

"The Grinch."

"I think it is because he didn't have love."

"But he has Max!"

"But did he really love Max?"

"He said "hating the Who's" in the movie.  I know he didn't love them.  He loves them now, though."

     Talk about character development.  That Grinch certainly develops over the course of the text.

     I love the Grinch, because it has always been a holiday tradition of mine.  But, perhaps he could mean just a little bit more.  Perhaps, it can be a door into deeper thinking with a mentor character who really leaves an impact on our students.

     On my search for Grinch crafts, I found a few fun things, and a great blog post from Scholastic, about how to actually use the text to do some close reading.  Here is the blog post.  She mentions some possible themes and social issues to explore, and gives some picture examples of annotated text from the book.

     On Fairy Tales and Fiction, they give some freebies for the Grinch.  There are some fun character activities for K-1, maybe 2nd grade kids.  Here is the link to their blog and freebies.

     This is a fun number identification coloring sheet, that I do not really think is Common Core aligned all that much, but makes the Grinch when complete.  Fun activity, not deep thinking.  Here is the link.

     I saved the best link for last.  This lady loves the Grinch AND taking photographs of her kids.  We had a conversation this week in 2nd grade about character traits vs emotions vs physical traits.  Her anchor chart is really a combination of the three things.  I suppose when asking kids, at 1st and 2nd grade, to describe a character we hope for great vocabulary, and less about which of the three categories the word falls into.  We want them to go beyond "happy."  But, using the word adjectives instead of "character traits" removes the argument about categorization, I suppose.  Perhaps that is a way to start the conversation with kids.

These images are from

     This post is really about holiday fun, mixed in with a little literacy fun.  Enjoy the season with your students and your family.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post, Leah. Thanks for your *Grinchy* ideas. I'm going to "Tweet" it out to everyone that follows me on Twitter. ;) Happy holidays to you and your family!
    Literacy Loving Gals