Monday, February 3, 2014

Students Connect with Cows Love Cookies

After reading "Chicks Run Wild" by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, the kick-off book to the Iowa Goldfinch Award unit in grades K-2, thanks to my awesome teacher-librarian friends Sandi Ellis and Melissa White, we decided to read "Cow Loves Cookies" by Karma Wilson.  By pairing these two books together, it opens the door for text-to-text connections to be made.

To connect the read aloud during library skills class to the strategies that students are learning in their classrooms, I asked students to make text-self and text-text connections.

After reading aloud the story (cycle of Jan.22-Jan.29), first I asked students to make text-to-self connections.  Some responses, included...

"I have visited a farm."
"I have seen horses eat hay."
"I have petted a chicken."

Then, I asked students to make text-to-text connections.  To help get them started, I asked them, "How are the books Chicks Run Wild and Cow Loves Cookies alike or the same?"  Some responses included...

"They both have farm animals."
"The animals talk in Chicks Run Wild, whereas the animals do not talk in The Cow Loves Cookies."
"They both end in a funny way."

While those are great responses, I was seeking more than the obivous.  So, I asked students, "what do you notice about the style or way they are written?"  Presto, I got the response I was seeking!

"Both books are written with rhyming words."

Then, I asked students, "Is there anything else you noticed about the two books and the way they are written?"  Some classes were able to immediately answer, while some did need it told to them.

"Both books have the title of the book repeated throughout the story."

By the way, this may bring one, or more, to point out that I am asking "recall" questions and answers, which require very little thinking.  After all, shouldn't one of my goals be to encourage deep-level thinking questions, such as asking students to make connections between the book and themselves and the book to other books?!  If given more than thirty minutes to read the story, discuss the story, and provide a read aloud connection activity, then I completely 100% would strive to re-word my questions to foster a deeper level of thinking.

Following the discussion, I provided students with the opportunity to use Google Draw to create an animal.  I had students create a "chick run wild" using Google Doc, Symbaloo, and Google Draw.  To reinforce and practice these tools, I decided to incorporate it into this lesson as well.  After all, if the two books have text-text connections, then why not connect the same Web 2.0 tools?!

Students click on Harding Student Portal to access knOWLedge is a Hoot website .

On knOWLedge is a Hoot website, students click on Iowa Goldfinch Award link, found on the left hand side.

Students scroll down to the bottom to click on the Cow Loves Cookies Google Draw Symbaloo

Students click on their classroom teacher's name on the Symbaloo.

Students click on his/her assigned student number on the class Google Doc.

Students use various shapes to create a farm animal and the food the animal eats.

Creating a farm animal and the food the animal eats is where the creativity shines through!

Check out these students hard at work on this read aloud connection!