Monday, January 19, 2015

Talking Sticks for Book Discussion

I went to Barnes & Noble over the weekend to pick up some study guides for the TEXES tests I have to take in the coming weeks. I planned to only purchase those 3 books... we all know how well that went! I ended up with over a dozen and a half books, among them were these gems for the holiday:

In my district, the kids have off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Teachers had to come in for an inservice day, but the kids returned today so we immediately started talking about Dr. King and his contribution to history.

A few weeks ago, I had my eye on Laura Candler's 2nd Grade Talking Sticks for Book Discussion and they ended up being the perfect addition to my MLK lessons.
Out of all of the question cards provided, I chose the questions that I knew my students would be able to answer. Being a Life Skills Teacher, my students' ability levels are below grade level, so we always start with the basics and work our way up. Laura's discussion cards were great for my class because she includes different levels and types of questions.

We started with the Info Text Prompts, moved into the Literature Prompts, and ended with the Personal Response Prompts (which is an area we struggle with). One reason I really liked using these cards with these two books was because of the pictures within the stories.
The "I Have A Dream" book's pictures are just breathtaking! They look super real and relate-able for my students to, well... relate to!
Did you know the pictures in "I Have A Dream" are paintings?!
Even though one book is technically Dr. King's speech and the other is an informational text about his life (in a kid-friendly manner), we still did our best to relate them to one another in terms of comparing and contrasting the text. My friends didn't do too bad and I think the pictures in each of the books really helped them. We are going to continue using the discussion cards throughout the week with other MLK books.

I think my favorite thing about Laura's talking sticks, though, would have to be how I'll be able to use them with any text. I printed out the cards and laminated them so we can use them over and over again. You also get what I'm going to call a "teacher reference page" for each set of questions. I printed and laminated these pages too. I plan on putting them in my reading binder to have on hand for any future lesson planning, as well as in my emergency substitute plans. How awesome is it when a resource can double as a lesson for emergency sub plans?!

The books I used for this lesson can be found here and here. Laura Candler's Talking Sticks for 2nd grade can be found here:

How did you celebrate Dr. King's birthday? I'd love to hear what books you used in your lessons too!

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