Today I'm sharing a book with you that I really love and it means a lot to me personally. It is The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume.
This book was written in 1985 but it still has a theme that I think kids can identify with today: no matter what, we love our siblings. It tries to answer these questions: "Who does mom and dad like the best? Why?"
This is a picture book about an eight year old and her little six year old brother. It is divided into two sections. One called The Pain and the other called The Great One. Each section of the book has the title of that section at the beginning so you know you are changing point of view.
The section The Pain is written from the sister's perspective and she is telling all of the reasons her brother is a pain, basically things that her parents do to make her think that they like him better. (She's jealous!)
Basically, in each section, the sibling realizes that they really do love the other. The little girl gets mad and tells her parents she doesn't want her brother to play with her anymore because he messes everything up. The mom says okay, and then the little girl gets really bored playing by herself and she realizes that she does like having him around (even if she doesn't want to admit it).
The little boy wants to stay up late like his sister because he thinks something magical happens when you get to stay up late. Well, his sister goes to bed and it's just him and his parents and nothing fun happens. He realizes, maybe it's not all that he thought it was to be older.
So, they both learn a lesson- life isn't much fun without the other one.
Most of my students can identify with this because most of them have a sibling. I talk about this book because I, too, have a younger brother and he was a TOTAL PAIN. That's one of the reasons I love this book. I totally see myself and my brother in it.
As a matter of fact, after I discovered this book, I gave it to my brother for his birthday a few years back because it was a story about us! He loved it. I wrote a note in it for him and then I read it to the family. It was fun. :O)
Anywho, I've used this before to have students write their own Pain and Great One story. Now, here it depends on who's the oldest as to which one they are. Of course, they all want to be the "great" one because it sounds nice, but some have to realize that their sibling, if they are older, may think they are a pain. And if they are a middle child, they just need to pick one to write about.
Then, they write the story, in a similar style to Judy Blume's (which is simple) about the sibling they are "complaining" about.
Then comes the hard part. They have to take on the point of view or perspective of their sibling, and write how they think their sibling feels about THEM.
It's just a fun way to talk about different perspectives of the same situation which is Common Core after all- even if it isn't about a historical event, this could be a great way to start that discussion. They need to understand that there are different perspectives to everything, and this is something they can totally relate to! From here, you can go into different accounts of historical events for sure!
If you want to beef it up a bit, you can have them use character trait words that are more "upper grades" if this sounds too elementary- but either way, my kids love it! Also, it's written in prose, so that's something else you can discuss...
So, I hope you like this book and if you have a sibling, I encourage YOU to read it. I think you'll make some connections. :O)
Judy Blume really is a timeless author. Her books are relate-able even almost 30 years later! They may not have cell phones in them or computers, but most kids can relate...and I can't tell you how much my students in the past have loved Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - mostly because of Fudge!! They can all relate to a crazy sibling!
Have a great week this week!!
The Great One - Amanda ;O)
PS- Here are our winners for the Stellaluna and Bats pack and the Halloween Interactive LA Foldables. Congrats ladies! You have been emailed!
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