Every spring, when my students are reading and writing more independently, I do a project with my class called Literature Response. This is a collection of written and illustrated responses to thirty story books that we read over the course of thirty days (that’s ten books for each of three different themes). This spring, when I return from maternity leave, the themes will be “Cats and Mice”, “Frogs and Fish” and “Wonderful Wings”. I will come back to school with a bound book for each student containing thirty pages that they will fill with sentences, illustrations, and interpretations for each story. (Actually there are thirty–four pages if you count the front cover and each theme’s cover sheet.) I will have the title and author of each book and the date pre-printed at the top of the page. There will be two “kid lines” (solid top and bottom lines with a dashed middle line) at the bottom of the page for their writing. I always look forward to Literature Response. We get to enjoy the stories as a class and compare the books in each theme. I get to watch my students as they interpret what we’ve read and I am always impressed with the amount of writing and spelling they can do on their own. I also get to see them apply what they have learned about capitalization, punctuation, and spacing. The finished books are a treasured collection of student work. If you would like to do a Literature Response project with your class, visit teacherspayteachers.com and download my FREE template.
The themes and stories are of course up to you, but here are the books I chose for 2013 so you can see an example:
For the “Cats and Mice” theme: Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga’g, Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Rich Cat Poor Cat by Bernard Waber, Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman, Pete the Cat by James Dean, Frederick by Leo Lionni, Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse by Leo Lionni, and Lost and Found House by Consuelo Joerns.
For the “Frogs and Fish” theme: It’s Mine by Leo Lionni, Bullfrog Grows Up by Rosamond Dauer, Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London, The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg, A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson, About Fish by Cathryn Sill, Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, Swimmy by Leo Lionni, and The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen.
For the “Wonderful Wings” theme: Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni, Abuela by Arthur Dorros, About Birds by Cathryn Sill, Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert, Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, Busy Buzzy Bee by Karen Wallace, Eliza and the Dragonfly by Susie Caldwell Rinehart, The Glorious Flight by Alice Provensen, and Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub.