Connections: POETRY, ART, DREAMS, IMAGNINATION, INSPIRATION, TRIUPH, BRAVERY, WONDER, DARE TO DREAM, BELIEVE, NATURE, WANDER, DAYDREAM, OBSERVE!!!!!!
I felt that all three of these books were quite inspiring. In The Dreamer Neftali is able to closely observes all that life has to offer. I think this is a very interesting trait, especially considering how we ask our student authors to do this so very often (think of a small moment, one single piece of a larger scale). Careful observation helps us see the beauty of our surrounds, in nature, treasures, and dreams. Now that I have read a novel (The One and Only Ivan) to my kindergarteners, I know I could do it again – I am impressed how they are able to listen and comprehend what I am reading to them. Therefore I know I could read The Dreamer to them and tie it into our writing.
Not only could this story tie into our writing unit, it could also tie into our nonfiction and wonder unit. Neftali has the sense of wonder that aim for our students to gain through wonder centers and activities. What a great correlation!?
Last but not least, this story holds the value of dreams. Despite Neftali’s struggles as a young boy, he held tight to his hopes and dreams and became a very successful poet. What a delightful and inspirational story!
A River of Words
A River of Words was a page turner for me! It was so WONDERful and COLORful. What a great way to tell the life of a young William Carlos Williams. Like Nafali, he was full of wonder as a young boy. He loved wandering around and exploring nature. How very mature of him to want to pursue a career to earn enough money to support his family. He was still able to do what he loves (poetry) on the side while earning a living helping others.
This story can convey another wonderful message to students about following your dreams. He didn’t have to sacrifice what he loves to do just because of his education and jobs. Dare to dream!
(The illustrations and collages in the book are MAGICAL!!!! I love the way Mellissa Sweet used different fonts and wording and different textures in the illustrations… They create wonder on their own!)
I also liked the timeline in the back of the book and how it aligns William Carlos William’s life with World Events – the reader can question whether or not the events affected him artistically or professionally.
Last but not least, Frederick was another great book to incorporate the power of your dreams to students. It is much more simplistic than A River of Words and The Dreamer but would be great to read to younger students. Frederick the mouse is a daydreamer – While his family is collecting food for the winter Frederick can’t help but being sidetracked by his observations and wonders…he is ARTISTIC!
When the family runs out of food during the winter months, Frederick sooths them with his recollections of spring observations. The family then is able to make it through the winter and into spring. Fredericks daydreams and observations are what saved his family.
Students need to know that it is MORE than okay to daydream – to dream – to observe, and also to discuss those things. It is our job as teachers to facilitate wonder into daily lessons and activities. The majority of our students are artists in their own way, and they must be exposed to things to provoke their sense of wonder in order for them to become inspired!