Teaching Children's Literature

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis



Bibliographic Information:  Bishop, N. (2012). Spiders. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

Reading Level: 820L

Synopsis: You might think twice next time you come across a spider after learning some of the facts in this text!  This text includes a photo index, as well as disturbingly zoomed in real life photos of spider webs, prey, and eggs.  Bishop uses strong adjectives and action words such as lurk, pounces, injects, and oozes to describe different types of spiders and the uses of their body parts.

Rationale for Classroom Use:  Due to the level of language used, this would be a great text to use while teaching students how to discover the meaning of unknown words or phrases. After reading, the class can compile a list of words that were unfamiliar into a graphic organizer and discuss context clues in the text in order to determine meaning.  It would also be a great text to introduce synonyms by having students act out the adjectives in the book and then brainstorm alternate words to use for the same actions.

Common Core Connection:

L.1.4a: Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

L.1.5d: Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.


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This entry was posted on June 14, 2013 by in Informational Texts and tagged , , , , .

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