Hey there!! I am excited to share with you a winter book that I love to use in my classroom!
One of the things that Common Core asks of us is to compare and contrast stories. I know Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a well known story. Or you would think it is. However, I am always delighted at how much my students enjoy James Marshall's version of it!
Goldilocks is very naughty in this book, and I think that's why the kids love it! She's a fun character to read about! Plus, I love James Marshall's illustrations! It does have some good language in it that brings it up to a third grade level or so.
Well, a couple years ago I stumbled on The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. I love to use this book in the winter! And, of course, we love Jan Brett. Talk about some gorgeous illustrations! And, it's a different version entirely of the Goldilocks story. Now, there are still three bears, but the setting is entirely different. And, I do really love using these books, so of course I can tie this in to the fact that we learn about the Inuit in our Native American unit, and the kids love that!
Now, in this story, the little girl, Aloo-ki, is not nearly as naughty. She basically just loses her dog sledding team and then discovers the Three Snow Bears' igloo, tries their breakfast, their boots, and then takes a nap. The ending also shows that both the bears and Aloo-ki are very kind.
So, two totally different stories based around the same general plot.
Now, since I teach fourth, I feel like I have to kick it up a notch. We use these two stories for the basis of a writing piece- our own "Goldilocks" story. We talk about the elements that made up both stories. The basic structure is you have a person (a girl in these stories) who goes into someone or something else's house and then gets into 3 things that aren't their own. Usually Papa Bear's is too big/hot, Mama Bear's is too squishy/cold, but Baby Bear's is juuuuuuuuust right. So, we use that same structure.
Now, I let them choose any character and any animal they want for their story. It can be a boy if they want it to be. But it has to work itself out that they can think of three things that the character can try of the owner's.
I definitely spend a good deal of time on setting. This is one of those elements in writing where students rarely do their setting justice. They just don't think about really describing it for their audience. So, we talk about that because the setting for these two stories is vastly different. Now, we have the illustrations to help us out when we read these books, but their reader really wants to READ about the setting so they can understand.
Then, we get writing using the Goldilocks structure. I try REALLY HARD to keep them from using exact copies. Like, the soup was too hot, too cold, and just right. Like, maybe they went into a rabbit's den and the carrots were too crunchy, too mushy, and just right. That way, they aren't exact replica's of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story, but their very own version.
This will be the first narrative we write when we are off break to get back into the swing of things, which makes it pretty painless for me and the kids. And, I get to incoroporate a fun winter book!!
Now, you've probably seen other books like this one:
This story is told from Baby Bear's point of view. I have not read this story, but I've seen a lot like them. You could go even further with this and have the students write another version of their own Goldilocks story (you know, the one they just wrote?) and have them tell it from another point of view. Talk about throwing in the Common Core! Yes, I think I will!!
Yes, I know I just shared three books and only one was a winter book. I totally broke my own rules. Oh well. It'll be ok. And if you want to share more than one book, I say, GO FOR IT!! :O)
Oh, and I did create a little unit last year to go with Goldilocks and the Three Bears versus The Three Snow Bears if you'd like to try these books out and have some activities to go with it. :O)
What are some of your favorite winter books? If you don't blog, please feel free to comment!