Our latest first-grade book club discussion covered Miss Avery’s selection of Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona, a Caldecott Honor Book. Yum, a book which revolves around pasta, my carb-loving body as well as my squirt’s are more than sold.
Finding a Scholastic DVD, Strega Nona . . . and more stories about magic, of the story at our award-winning Glen Carbon Centennial Library, we began the evening with a viewing of the picture book.
Then, the real learning disguised as fun began under the direction of Miss Wendy, momma and teacher extraordinaire. Covering character analysis using adjectives on slips of paper, each book club member was given an opportunity to decide whether the descriptive word in question described Strega Nona or Big Anthony. So cool! Even my third-grade-daughter assistant could not resist joining in on the characterization.
Bookies then shared from their journals . . . a picture depicting a favorite character, scene, etc. from the book and one discussion question. Open-ended questions evoked thoughtful answers such as, “Why was Big Anthony told not to touch the pasta pot?” Yes, tears of joy were streaming from my face at this literacy in action.
To conclude, Miss Wendy had the young ladies create a house identical to Strega Nona’s complete with a “yarn” of pasta overflowing from the pot.
Next book discussion: Miss Elise’s selection of Stellaluna