This is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!
I love reading books where the students are able to get more schema about the character they have already met. I always have a book that we use for Shared Reading. The week we read Little Dan was the same week we were reading Dan, The Flying Man. Students were able to learn more about this character through reading Little Dan.
This story is about Dan when he was a little boy. The kids were so interested to learn that he got his flying hat and clothes from his grandpa. They were able to see his house and make connections to him as a child as opposed to just being Dan, the Flying Man. Each year, my students always love reading this book. I feel like they have gotten to understand the character better by seeing him through the two different stories.
After we read Little Dan, we brainstormed the different problems that Dan had when he was little. He wanted to fly ever since he was a baby but he kept falling. His Mom and his Dad would help him when we got hurt, but it was his grandpa in the end that solved his problem of wanting to fly. There are great connections that students can make throughout this story. There is a birthday party, parents helping their child, and receiving a present. Most students can make connections with the character. This is also another way to deepen a child’s understanding and retention of the story.
We focused on writing about his two problems and how his grandpa helped him overcome his problem. I had the students draw and write (we are focusing on writing) about the two problems in the story. Then, they had to do the same for the solution. This is a great graphic organizer to use with any story. Encourage students to write and make connections about what they read. You can download a Dan-themed graphic organizer below.
This is my sixth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!
We've got plenty of big books for shared reading! Click here to see them on our website! If you want to know more about the Joy Cowley Collection, which features the Dan stories, click the image below to download an information sheet with series highlights! Click the image to the right to download the graphic organizer sheet.