Spring is here! And we are all following social distancing and staying home. Schools are closed. I hope you have been allowing the kids to watch my read-aloud stories on You Tube. The link is to the right. I started a You Tube channel (Creating Smart Readers) because I, too, am at home and I figured it would be a new face, new voice, and a new story for children. It also allows me to read my favorite high-leveled picture books to kids. Anyone who knows me in person or on this Blog, knows I am passionate about high-quality picture books!
The story I am featuring this week is Kate Who Tamed the Wind. A full detailed Read-Aloud Guide is here for you to print. Kate Guide
Spring is the perfect time for this story about a young girl who is concerned about the wind that is destroying her neighbor’s home. The Read-aloud Guide gives information about reading skills, word work, discussion starters, and after-reading activities. During this time of social distancing and school closures, I’m sure you have been looking for meaningful activities to do at home.
After I read the story aloud on You Tube, I will make a few suggestions for activities:
- Find out about windmills
- Make a kite
- Paint or decorate flower pots
- Start some seeds indoors
- Plan a garden
- Draw 4 trees – one for each season
Parents can enhance the story by introducing Science topics like wind, trees, plants, ecology, and seasons. You can also encourage kids to appreciate art. The Internet provides a myriad of information. So, have fun with the learning that is inspired by this story.
In addition, there are other books that connect well to this story. If your library is closed, you might find them in an audio version. If you have the featured book at home, notice the Lexile level and check the chart to the right to be sure your child is able to read and understand at the level stated.
- The Great Kapok Tree
- A River Ran Wild
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- Wangari’s Trees of Peace
Picture books are tricky that way. They are advertised for children at a young age and grade while the actual reading level is often much higher than a child of that age can read. Many children are able to “read” the words, but the necessary level of background knowledge of the subject is a bit higher for them to understand. And, there is a lot of “hidden meaning” in stories which makes it difficult for kids to figure out on their own. THAT IS WHY I STRESS READING HIGH-LEVELED PICTURE BOOKS OUT LOUD TO YOUR KIDS. It is the talking and modeling of good reading that helps your child grow as a smart-thinking reader. The Read-aloud Guides give you a breakdown on how to dig deeper into a story. I hope you find them useful. I took them right out of my own lesson plan book.
I hope to see you and your children regularly for stories on my You Tube channel. I also hope you enjoy the Read-Aloud Guides and activities. I’d love to know how they are working for you because I, like most of us, am a work in progress. Please subscribe to this Blog and the channel so you get notification of new material. “Happy Reading!”