Monday, February 1, 2016

The Cloud Spinner (Michael Catchpool)

Today we were able to take more time with our story and discuss as we went. I am really realizing the value of reading stories every day. My students are starting to bring up connections with other stories. Today, while we were looking at the pictures, they pointed out the geese in the sky, and someone yelled out, "Honkers!" (That is what the Grandpa called the geese in Through Grandpa's Eyes)

I also saw again how children often see much more in the story than I do. They noticed the cute smiles all over the place. They noticed the pictures in the clouds. They had a laugh at the fat king and queen. They chuckled over his hair. They commented on the tropical weather, like the weather in India. Each of those things was an opportunity to connect to something we had learned.

They had no idea about weaving and spinning and how cloth is made. This was a great introduction to that topic, which we will cover more in Social Studies later when we talk about the weaving Peruvians do.

And then, most important of all, there are the lessons in the story:
  • greediness never works out in the end
  • only take what you can use
  • don't boss people around

Goodreads summary:

One small boy has a special gift—he can weave cloth from the clouds: gold in the early morning with the rising sun, white in the afternoon, and crimson in the evening. He spins just enough cloth for a warm scarf. But when the king sees the boy's magnificent cloth, he demands cloaks and gowns galore. "It would not be wise," the boy protests. "Your majesty does not need them!" But spin he must—and soon the world around him begins to change.

From author Michael Catchpool and illustrator Alison Jay comes a magical tale about the beauty and fragility of our natural world, and the wisdom and courage needed to protect it.

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