Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Afraid

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 29, 2016 3:29:00 PM

This is the fifth and last post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. Click the links for the second (happy), third (sad), and fourth post (angry).

AFRAID

This weekly blog series discusses how reading narrative books helps students develop both emotional and literary skills. Today's post will focus on the fifth and last basic human emotion: fear. Since Halloween is only a month away, a discussion about fear will help students prepare for this spooky event!

The Man Who Was Afraid of Ants from the Kaleidoscope Collection features Jake, a firefighter who abhors ants. With an adult as the protagonist of the book, students can realize that everyone, even adults and community helpers, all feel scared sometimes. The book's subtle narration will provide an appropriate challenge for your students to utilize the emotional and literacy skills they have developed over the past 5 weeks. 

 

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THE MAN WHO WAS AFRAID OF ANTS

Discussion points:

p. 2:

  • Look at the illustration of Jake. What words would you use to describe him? How do you think he is feeling?
p. 3:
  • Does Jake look different in this illustration? How do you think he is feeling now?
  • How does Jake act when he is afraid? (His nose itches, his finger twitches, he gets a creepy feeling)
  • As a class, brainstorm other reactions that your students have when they are afraid (sweating, butterflies in the stomach, faster heartbeat).
  • Many of your students may laugh when they see Jake’s scared face. Remind your students that what might not be scary for one person might be for another, so it’s impolite to laugh at someone’s fears or call them a scaredy-cat.
p. 7:
  • Why did Jake leave the picnic?
p. 8-12:
  • How did Jake overcome his fear of ants?
  • Why do you think Jake was afraid of ants? This question requires children to empathize with the character and brainstorm possible origins of a fear.
  • In pairs, have students discuss their own fears. Identifying and putting fears into words will help students feel agency over them. If your students are feeling shy, share one of your fears with the class. Recognizing that they aren’t alone in their scared feelings will encourage students to speak up. 

Writing exercise:

  • Have students complete the sentence “I am scared of ___.” and draw an accompanying picture. Again, illustrating allows students to feel more powerful over the fear.

Today's post concludes this blog series on simultaneously developing emotional and literacy skills. What are other ways that you teach emotional skills through reading? Which emotions would you like to see featured in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes the book featured in this article. 

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Angry

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 22, 2016 3:43:00 PM

This is the fourth post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. You can also read the second post about "happy" here and the third post about "sad" here.

ANGER

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the emotion of anger. No matter the reason, every child feels angry sometimes. Recognizing this emotion and describing it with words is a crucial part of anger management. Reading about a fight from an omniscient point of view will also help students understand the different emotions of each character.

In The Letter Fight, part of the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, the characters all claim that they are the smartest. By examining the ways in which each letter expresses its anger, you can teach a lesson about healthy and effective ways to expres anger. Students can also practice their spelling skills while reading this book!

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THE LETTER FIGHT

p. 1:

  • What does it mean to fight? Why do you think the letters are fighting?

p .4:

  • Why do you think A kicks L? Is that a good way to show your anger? How do you think L feels about being kicked?
  • With what betters ways can you tell someone that they are making you angry? (With your words.)
  • Instead of kicking, what else can you do to release your angry energy? (Drawing, dancing, playing ball)
p. 9:
  • Do you think the other letters like A’s plan? How can you tell?
p. 10:
  • Which “talking” verbs show you that the letters are angry? (“Growled” and “shouted”)
p. 12–13:
  • Examine the illustrations. How can you tell that the letters are angry? (Open mouth, slanted eyebrows, narrowed eyes)
p. 15:
  • The letters feel better after sleeping. What are other activities that can calm your anger? (Playing with a favorite toy, singing a song)
p. 16:
  • How did the letters solve their fight?

Reader's Theater:

  • Select students to read the lines of P, A, L and S. Remind them to adopt a voice that reflects each letter's emotion (i.e., angry). This dramatic play will allow your students to experience each character's feelings on a deeper level. 

Numbers Exercise:

  • Teach your students that simply counting to six can help them calm angry feelings. Give each student a piece of blank paper. Fold it to make six boxes. Have students number the boxes in order. If desired, students can illustrate each box to show a progression from anger to contentment. Practice using the counting chart as a class, pointing to each box as you count aloud. If a student is ever feeling angry in the future, encourage him or her to use their counting chart.

Reading about fictional fights will not only improve students' reading skills, but it will also serve as a classroom management tool if there is a conflict between classmates. Next week, we will focus on how books about being afraid. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Sad

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 15, 2016 3:24:00 PM

This is the third post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. For the second post about "happy" emotions, click here.

SADNESS

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the feeling of being "sad."

In Dragon’s Friend from the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, Dragon is sad because he has no friends. This topic may be especially potent for your class at the beginning of the year when students are still trying to adjust to a new classroom environment and make new friends. Not only does this story present a solution to sad emotions, Dragon’s Friend also teaches your students how to help when someone else is feeling sad.

DRAGON'S FRIEND

Before reading:

  • As a group, brainstorm different things you can do when someone you know is feeling sad.
p. 2:
  • How do you think Dragon is feeling?
  • Encourage students to put themselves into Dragon’s shoes. How would you feel if you didn’t have a friend? Identifying synonyms and related words such as “lonely” and “unhappy” will help your students build a rich emotional vocabulary.
p. 4:
  • Which words tell you that Dragon is sad? (cried/crying) How does the illustration tell you?
p. 8:
  • Discuss the meaning that Dragon found in the paper dragon. Clarify the meaning of the sentence “You cared about me!”
p. 14:
  • How does the illustration show that Dragon isn’t sad anymore?
p. 16:
  • How do you think Dragon and the children are feeling at the end?

JCEBJ_DragonsFriend.jpg

Extension Activity:

  • Create your own classroom dragon! Cut a large dragon out of poster or butcher paper. Ask all your students to contribute coloring the dragon’s body, wings and tail. This joint art activity will foster peer interaction amongst all your students. Hang the dragon on the wall. Any time a student feels comforted or cared for by a friend, help the student write a thank you note on a post-it and place it on the dragon. Over the year, the once lonely dragon will become filled with acts of compassionate friendship!

Next week, we will visit the emotion of anger. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Happy

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 8, 2016 3:27:00 PM

This is the second post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here.

HAPPINESS

Last week, we discussed how reading fictional narratives can help students develop emotional and literary skills. In the subsequent posts, we will apply this discussion to lessons that you can incorporate into the classroom. This post will focus on feeling "happy," introducing two books that exhibit happy characters and allow you to open up a discussion about feelings.

Smile and Little Rabbit’s Laugh from Joy Cowley Early Birds feature her newest character, Little Rabbit. Leveled at Guided Reading Level C and D, respectively, these two books employ repetitive text that will be accessible to all students at the beginning of the year. With endearing illustrations and uniquely Joy Cowley humor, the Little Rabbit books are sure to bring happiness into your classroom! 

LITTLE RABBIT’S LAUGH

joy-cowley-early-birds-little-rabbits-laugh-book.jpgDiscussion points:

p. 4:

  • Can anyone make a silly face? Have a volunteer stand and make their silliest face. Raise your hand if you laughed!
  • Discuss the illustrations. How does the illustrator show us that Little Rabbit isn’t laughing? This question prompts students to move beyond the text and recognize the illustrator's role in the story.
  • Repeat the same questions above for page 5 with a silly walk.
p. 7:
  • Do you think Little Rabbit is laughing now? How can you tell? (Squinted eyes, an open mouth)
p. 8:
  • Little Rabbit and Little Chick are laughing together. How do you think they are feeling?
  • How else can you make someone laugh?

SMILE

joy-cowley-early-birds-smile-book.jpgDiscussion Points:

p. 2:

  • How do you think Little Rabbit and Squirrel are feeling? How can you tell? (They are smiling.)
  • Do you think Chickie is happy? Why or why not?
p. 6:
  • What does Chickie do when he is happy?
p. 7:
  • Do you think Chickie is happy now? How can you tell?
p. 8:
  • Why does Little Rabbit say Chickie is “too happy”?
  • Do you think there is a such thing as being “too happy”? Accept several responses.

Writing exercise:

  • What do you do when you are happy? Have students complete the sentence “I ____ when I am happy” and draw an accompanying illustration. Are the people in your illustration smiling or laughing?
Everyone enjoys feeling happy, so discussing this positive emotion will serve as a lively introduction to our emotive exploration. Next week, we will focus on the opposite but equally important emotion, sadness. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Visit our website to learn more about Joy Cowley's newest character, Little Rabbit, and click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy, Little Rabbit

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Introduction

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 1, 2016 3:27:00 PM

At the beginning of the school year, your students arrive with different histories, households, and emotional experiences. Developing social and emotional skills not only influences a student’s willingness and ability to learn—these skills also plays a crucial role in classroom behavioral management.

That being said, abstract topics like emotions do not necessarily lend themselves well to explicit instruction in a classroom. How can you effectively teach emotional literacy? Reading narrative texts will help students develop their emotional and literary intelligence! This five-post blog series will demonstrate ways that narrative books can teach four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.

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Emotional Literacy Also Links to Common Core State Standards

The ability to identify and describe various emotions is crucial for reading narratives. The Common Core State standards for Grade 2 require students to “describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3), which they can only accomplish after learning how to “use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, settings, or events” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.17). By building an emotional vocabulary, students can begin to understand how characters feel in different situations.

The skills used to describe fictional characters easily apply to real-life people as well. Scanning illustrations to find clues about the characters’ thoughts is comparable to reading facial expressions. Particular diction and inflection within an utterance can signal the intensity of the emotion. By practicing these reading skills, students also improve their emotional literacy.

Beginning with next week's post, we will share books from Joy Cowley Early Birds and the Kaleidoscope Collection that promote emotional literacy. Today, we’d like to highlight Hameray products that are specifically designed for developing emotional skills: 

A Box Full of Feelings

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A Box Full of Feelings features situational pictures, finger dolls, and posters to introduce emotions. With an emotive music CD and “feelings” masks, there are limitless opportunities for classroom activities. This blog series centers on the same four feelings addressed in this box—happy, sad, angry, and afraid. Familiarizing your students with different facial expressions will help them identify those emotive clues in a story's illustrations.

 

 

 

 

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The Feelings Artbook

Students familiarize themselves with emotional issues through drawing activities. The “Empathy” section prompts students to think from different perspectives. This emotional skill serves as the basis for considering the feelings, responses, and personality of fictional characters in a book.

Make sure to click this link to browse our full list of products that will support this blog series.

 

Next week, we will begin with the most familiar and desired emotion, "happy." Check back on this blog next Thursday to learn about Joy Cowley books that develop emotional literacy!

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Click this link to view the products featured in this blog post and browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

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