Gilbert the Hero By Jane Clarke and Charles Fuge
October 27, 2011 in Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Clarke Jane, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Research Ideas, Shared Writing Tags: picture books about the ocean, picture books for boys
*Picture book, fantasy (talking animals), for preschoolers through second graders
*Young shark as main character
*Rating: Gilbert the Hero teaches kids a lesson in a subtle way and in the spirit of Finding Nemo. Shark lovers will REALLY enjoy this book!
Short, short summary: Gilbert the shark must take care of his younger brother, Finn, one day when he and his friend, Rita Remora, are going out to play. The problem is all the games Gilbert and Rita usually play are too scary for Finn. They finally find something he likes and something they like, too. Then a Killer Whale has to ruin all the fun! Will Gilbert be able to save the day (and his little brother, too)? This is truly a deep-sea adventure!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. This is the perfect book to use with children who have younger siblings and are always complaining about them–tagging along or getting into their stuff. That’s how Gilbert and his friend feel, but when push comes to shove, Gilbert really does love his brother and wants to protect him. You can use Gilbert the Hero at home or school to start a discussion about siblings. Children may relate to either Gilbert or Finn, depending on their situation.
2. Let children discuss if they have ever felt the way Finn did while doing some of the activities with Gilbert. He was scared and he didn’t like it! What did the children do? Did they cry? Did they ask to stop? (If they are having trouble thinking of something, ask if any of them have ever been to an amusement park. Did they ride a ride they didn’t like?) Talk to students about what it’s like to be scared and how to speak up when they don’t feel comfortable. Let them write or draw about the discussion when it’s over.
3. This is a fun book to do during an ocean unit in the classroom. What do students know about Great White Sharks or Killer Whales? Did the author use any of these characteristics in the story? Ask students to find out one more fact–in a book or on the Internet–about one of these animals that they didn’t know before and share it with the class.