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Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

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*I would like to use this post to thank all the authors and publishers who have stepped up and allowed teachers to read their books online during this unprecedented time…We appreciate you! 

Teacher’s Story:

I leave school on a Friday, having started the first few chapters of Eventown, by Corey Ann Haydu. On Saturday, I discover that we will be out of school until at least April 7th. When I reach out to my students on Google Classroom, they ask if I will continue to read Eventown.  I reach out to Corey Ann Haydu on Twitter, and she responds immediately:

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Every day,  my intervention specialist and I take turns videotaping a chapter and pose a question for students to think about.  The students are engaged and excited to hear this moving story about a town where everything is “even” and “perfect”.  When I share my students’ thinking with the author, she responds with encouraging words. When I share her response with my students,  I see a change in the level of responses immediately. Suddenly, they are discussing symbolism and author’s craft … reminding me, once again, just how important it is to have a genuine audience for our students. Thank you, Corey Ann Haydu, for giving my students the best possible audience, the author! 🙂

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This week, we have started to use Google Meet to share our thoughts in small groups.  It almost feels like we are back in school, meeting with our book clubs.

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Students know the focus of our book talk before they join, so they can be prepared for the day’s discussion.
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Madelyn and Jordyn participating in our book club discussion through Google Meet.

Student Thoughts:

Author’s Craft:

Natalie: I think that the author might not be saying why they needed a fresh start to create suspense and make readers think about what the answer might be. I think the author might put the answer at the end of the book to make readers reflect on the book and fill in all the questions that they had in their head through the whole book.

Garrett: I think Chapter 17, “Welcome”, ends before Elodee gets to share her stories because this will end up being the turning point of the book.

Symbolism:

Brielle: I think the butterflies symbolize differences, since no two butterflies are exactly the same.  Eventown wants everyone to be the same, so that is why there are no butterflies in the town. Maybe Veena’s mom created the butterfly house because she misses things being different.

Jordyn: I think the roses must represent something important, since they are mentioned over and over again. When we looked up the meaning of roses during our video chat, we discover that roses symbolize “new beginnings & hope”, which is exactly what Eventown stands for. We also find that thorns represent “loss”, and suddenly we all have one of those “Aha- Moments” realizing that roses symbolize everything that Elodee and her family are experiencing in the book.

Possible Theme/Big Ideas:

Maegan: Perfection and happiness can’t be the only emotion you feel because how will you deal with everything else in your life.

Lilly: I think the author is trying to tell us to not automatically throw away bad memories, but instead we should learn from them and create new memories while persevering through difficult times.

Final Thoughts:

Teaching online has taught me so much about myself, my students and the world we live in.  While I am thankful for all the authors and publishers allowing us to share their wonderful books, my students are simply thankful to have their teacher read to them.  They don’t care if you’re not wearing makeup, your double chin shows, or if your house is a mess in the background. They just want to know you care. One student, who knows how much I hate being videotaped left this comment for me:

“Thank you Mrs. Coons for reading to us even though you had to videotape it. I know how hard that is for you.”

Your Very Welcome Arika <3

2 thoughts on “Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu”

  1. This work is so important for the students, and as we learned, for their teacher as well. I’m continuously amazed to watch classrooms problem-solve through this challenging absence from each other, and I see that they will come through this with new ideas and understanding about their world and how they can make an impact. Awesome.

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