I chose to read The Very Impatient Caterpillar to third graders because it tied beautifully with their pollinator science unit and this book is “laugh out loud” funny – a perfect combination. I also loved the way Ross Burach wove information about butterflies into this narrative story in ways that kids could emulate in their own texts during writing workshop.
After listening to the students’ turn and talk conversations, I realized they wanted to take the conversation in a different direction. For them, this book was all about the big ideas in this text. Don’t you just love it when children show us books from new angles?
As I read, two students recorded the groups’ ideas in the whole class notebook. At the top of the chart, they wrote their initial ideas, collected important evidence from the text , and recorded new insights from the group during the whole-class conversation. You can see from their thoughts many possible themes emerged.
Now they can reread this book as a whole class (or in book clubs) with these themes in mind to see which ones carry throughout the entire text. So many opportunities arise, when students lead the conversation.