On Monday we began one of the chapter books we will explore for the next two-month theme of Book Journeys. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane seemed a natural fit. Although it is written for slightly older students, I know with plenty of discussion we can handle it. Already it has brought up the fact that life is full of twists and turns that aren't always happy. Also, we've talked about Edward's character at the beginning of the book - and how being unable (or unwilling) to love, he is really missing out. He is going to learn so much during his adventure!
So far, the children are really enjoying the story. We've been lying down on pillows each afternoon to listen to the story read on CD. It gives me a chance to be an audience along with my students, and them a (probably welcome) change of pace from listening to me read.
So far, Edward has left his first home, gone on a ship (headed to England) with his darling Abilene, thrown overboard by some mean children, abandoned at the bottom of the ocean for many months, netted by fishermen, and taken home to one of their homes. Now Edward is renamed Susanna by the fisherman's wife. His journey is just beginning!
The children are making maps of Edward's journey, to be added to as we read. Take a look at a couple examples:
These maps will help us keep track of Edward, and serve as a reminder of what has happened so far. It will also aid students' retelling of the story, which is really important when teaching comprehension skills.