Tuesday Tales: Family Relationships Mass Blogging Day and Patricia Polacco books
October 13, 2009 in Art activities, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Elementary Educators, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Polacco, Patricia, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Tuesday Tales Tags: fear of storms, Patricia Polacco, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, Therese Walsh, Thunder Cake, WOW! blog tour, WOW! Women On Writing
Today I’m participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit “The Muffin” to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese’s website to find out more about the author.
I chose WOW!’s “Family Relationships Mass Blogging Day” to write about one of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators, Patricia Polacco. She has written and illustrated many picture books, including some of my favorites: My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother; Thank You, Mr. Falker; and Pink and Say.
The reason I chose her for today is many of her picture books are based on true accounts of her childhood, and she does not try to mask these events behind some fictional characters. She includes herself and her family members, and the stories are touching, often bringing tears. The book I chose especially for today is Thunder Cake. If you have a child scared of storms, this is the perfect book for you. It will help you and your child share special moments as Patricia and her grandmother did when she was a child.
Short, short summary: Thunder Cake is the story of how Patricia Polacco learned to conquer her fear of storms when she was a young girl. Her grandmother senses a storm is coming, and so she convinces Patricia to go outside and gather the ingredients they need to bake thunder cake. This includes eggs, tomatoes, and milk. While the cake is baking, Grandmother recaps what young Patricia did OUTSIDE as the storm was approaching, and she convinces her granddaughter that only a brave girl could do those things. Patricia agrees. This is one of the perfect family relationship books as it shows the heartwarming love between a grandma and her granddaughter, and it can help you as a parent (or even a teacher) with a child who has a fear of storms.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Make a thunder cake with your students or you child. (If you are doing this with a classroom, you can also turn any cooking lesson into a math lesson–studying fractions, doubling recipes, and so on.)
2. Ask students or your child to write (or make a list together) all the reasons why rain is a positive thing–why do we need rain? Why is this important? If children can see why rain is necessary and helpful, it might give them more positive feelings toward storms. When your child starts to become afraid during storms, draw pictures of the ways rain helps, create poems, or even make up a play or story with older children. This will distract them from the storm and promote positive feelings.
3. Make noise with your child or students as a storm is approaching. Can you make your own thunder? Often children just don’t like loud noises they can not control, and this is why thunder scares them. Get out some pots, pans, and wooden spoons. Have a storm concert. Chant favorite poems and play music to drown out the outside sounds.
Another super easy thing to do is just talk with your child about Patricia’s bravery and see what they think. Thanks for checking out my post today as part of WOW!’s mass blogging day!