The Mighty and the Meek!This is a sweet book about big and small creatures befriending each other – Samson, a big brown wooly mammoth, a fragile red bird, and a small gray mouse. http://www.amazon.com. Every time you expose your children to information, you are building their background knowledge which makes learning easier for them.
Before-Reading: Talk about making friends. Who would make a good friend for you and why? Talk about how quickly things can change and how unexpected events can turn your world upside down in a quick moment. How do you get through a bad day? Talk about years ago when wooly mammoths roamed the earth.
Vocabulary to preview: trudge, fantastic, stomped, clung
During-Reading: Does it seem out of character for a huge wooly mammoth to be tending his dandelion patch. What does it mean to “tend” to a garden? What does it tell about Samson’s character when he picks a small bouquet for the bird? What does it mean to fall into a “lumbering” sleep? Why did the author choose it for Samson? What word would you choose for the bird when he is sleeping? How is Samson built to withstand a snow storm? What about the bird? What do many birds do in winter? When Samson rescues the mouse, does it reinforce your thoughts about his character? Why do you think Samson and the mouse talked about their favorite color, yellow? Why do you think Samson knew about the cave and the bird and mouse did not? Why did the mouse bring flowers to the mouse?
After-Reading: After the storm passed, what do you think Samson, the mouse, and the bird did next? Are they still friends? If you wanted to meet a new friend, what would you say to him or her? Is there someone you see every day who looks lonely? What could you do to cheer him or her up? What kind thing could you do today that would make someone’s bad day better? Do you think the big and strong should help the small and weak? Or, can the small and weak also help the big and strong? Why did the author and illustrator use the color yellow so much? What do you think it means? Visit a museum or library that has a display of pre-historic creatures.
Connections: For older children living in New York, Mastodon Mystery can still be purchased “used” at amazon.com. Visit the New York State Museum in Albany and see the bones found in that area on display.
There are also many books on wooly mammoths so, if your child seems interesting, search online or at the public library.
Book Nook: Make a big comfy reading place near the fireplace – if you have one – on a cold day. Bring in the pillows and blankets and have fun reading and talking as you become experts in these prehistoric creatures. ALWAYS read books yourself before reading them to or giving them to a child to read – check that they are appropriate for your child’s age and sensitivities. Happy Reading!
… on pre-order … COMING SOON!