March 14, 2013

Time Travel . . . I mean, book club.

Yesterday I spent some time discussing with a group of fifth graders the merits and complications of time travel. No, we weren't holding a monthly Doctor Who fan club, we were discussing the When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Bogged down by the changing nature of her friendship with Sal, her intelligent but fashion challenged mother, and the strange goings on with new friend Marcus, Miranda changes in this novel from young girl to young woman. ("They" describe this as a coming of age novel, which I've always found to be a goofy expression.)

It's hard to describe all that takes place in this story without giving away the ending--which is fabulous and comes together in the final twenty pages--so I just tell students to trust me and read the book. (It does have a great connection to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Spoiler.)

Readying for the discussion, I realized I wanted to "shake it up" and try something other than my regular Twizzlers-while-we-talk-routine. So, I pulled out book making supplies and we set to work making paper bag books while talking about THIS great book.

Thanks to Carol Ruth Carlin and Madeline Huston I've had a lovely introduction to book making.
Image from Amazon
Check out The Book Making Experience: An Educator's Guide for Student Made Books for great ideas you can use in both classroom and library.

Here are my supplies:
Image from Liberty Library Lady
Here is my (unfinished) example:
Image from Liberty Library Lady
Here are some of the (unfinished) results:
Image from Liberty Library Lady
Image from Liberty Library Lady
Image from Liberty Library Lady
This worked out SO well. We enjoyed working with our hands while talking about Miranda and Sal. We discussed ways Miranda could have been a better friends to Julia, Colin, and Annemarie. We talked about Miranda's mother. And Miranda's mother's crazy bright tights. (She works at a law office, for goodness sake, bright magenta tights are a no-no!) We figured out Marcus and The Old Man's role in the story.

In addition, all technical problems and moral dilemmas involving time travel were solved. We created a TARDIS and reenacted our favorite scenes from last season's Doctor Who. Wait. That didn't happen. I just wish it had happened. I really want to meet a Time Lord.

I'm the winner for a happy Wednesday book club with a super group of fifth graders!