Hey y'all! It's Kim here from For a Love of Teaching, and I'm excited to share with you one of my favorite children's book authors - Sharon Creech. It's so hard for me to pick just one, because I have so many! However, Sharon Creech is definitely at the top of my list. She has written so many great books! Bloomability, Ruby Holler, and Walk Two Moons are a few of my favorites, and I always recommend these to my 4th graders.
I chose Sharon Creech as my favorite children's book author for two reasons.
#1. Each year I read two of her novels with my 4th graders, and we also complete an author's study. It's one of my favorite units I teach!
#2. April is National Poetry Month, and the two books I'm going to share with you are two of her poetry books!
I don't "love" poetry - never really have. However, I love how Sharon Creech writes poetry and introduces students to poetry in these two books. My all time favorite books by Sharon Creech are Love That Dog and Hate That Cat. These books are written in free verse poetry told from the point of view of Jack, a boy who learns to love poetry with a little help from his teacher, a famous writer (Walter Dean Myers), a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course a dog and a cat.
In North Carolina, we follow the Common Core State Standards, so "digging deeper" into texts is something we've become accustomed to. While teaching this unit I spend a lot of time on figurative language, vocabulary, and reader's response questions that require students to read and reread to find the answers. These books can be read in one sitting, but we end up spending almost a month on both books!
One thing I've noticed over the years is that these books are unlike any book most students have read. When I first read Love That Dog with my 4th graders, I was surprised at how many didn't "get" the book. It really doesn't take long to read either of these books, so re-reading the sections or certain pages didn't take up a lot of extra class time. I found that the more my students read these books, the better they understood them, and it became easier for them to relate to the main character - Jack.
One thing is for sure, students end up loving these books! Sharon Creech has a special way of drawing her readers in. Love That Dog is the first book in a two part series, so they couldn't wait to read Hate That Cat!
Because I love teaching these two books so much, I created reader's response journals for both. You can grab them by clicking the images below.
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