Have you ever had one of those special moments when the stars seem to align (maybe it’s the lining up of the 5 planets this week)? On Tuesday morning I was looking for a good title to read to 5th grade students the next day (yeah, I know, but sometimes that is as far in advance as I can plan) for Friendship Week. Over the long weekend I had looked through the WorldLit suggested titles and nothing really grabbed me. I was looking at a box from Junior Literary Guild that had been beside for my desk for a week or two and just decided to finally open it up and catalog the books that were inside (I had no idea what was in there). I pulled out, Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco. Read the blurb on the inside cover and BINGO! A story of friendship set in
the Philippines during World War II. The 5th grade students had just started studying World War I and will soon be covering WWII. A match made in heaven and what a touching story. Just the right length for a read aloud to older students.
Read Aloud then Student Response Using Padlet
I used an atlas to orient the students to the location of the Philippines and then read the book. I’ll admit that each of the three times I read it, I choked up at the end where…well, I don’t want to spoil the story if you haven’t read it. You just have to check it out for yourself.
I then had the students answer the question: “What book would you recommend to a friend? Include the reason why.” I had our students bring their Dell Venue tablets with them so they could each respond without having to wait for a computer. I used Linoit for the first two classes, but I had a problem with the stickies all piling up on top of each other. I then turned to Padlet for the third class (I did go back and copy and paste all of the responses from the first two classes into Padlet). The students really enjoyed reading each other’s responses. This was the first time they had used this type of technology and I think we will do it again.