Hooway for Wodney Wat
At P.S. 124 Elementary School for Rodents there was one student who is different from all the other rodents. Rodney Rat better known as, Wodney Wat, cannot pronounce his R’s. Poor Wodney is teased by the rodents in his class because of how he talks. Then one day walks in the new rodent student, Camilla Capybara. She is bigger and smarter than all the other rodents in the class. Everyone is scared of Camilla. One day Wodney is chosen to lead a game of Simon Says. It becomes clear very fast that Camilla is not as smart as she thinks. When Wodney says to “Wead the school sign,” Camilla starts to pull the weeds around the sign instead of reading the sign. Wodney realizes that he may be able to use is speech impediment to help stop the bully Camilla. Wodney says “Go west,” all the rodents, but Camilla lay down to take a rest and Camilla heads west walking forever never to return. Wodney saves the day and is never made fun of for how he talks again!
This book would a great text for read aloud. Especially in the younger grades many students can suffer from speech impediments. By incorporating this book into a read aloud so can a lesson about acceptance and bullying.
Giraffes Can't Dance
Gerald is a tall clumsy giraffe with very skinny legs who believes he cannot dance. Every year in Africa, the animals hold a Jungle Dance. All the animals have their signature dance moves. When it is Gerald’s turn to dance he becomes too nervous to dance for the animals. Not to mention that the animals teased Gerald telling him that giraffes cannot dance. Gerald is feeling very discouraged until he meets a cricket who helps Gerald find his dancing hooves. When Gerald shows his new moves off to the animals, they are all amazed. Gerald tells the animals what the cricket taught him “We can all dance. When we find music that we love.”
This text would be a great addition to any Grades K-2 interactive read aloud. The story is a unique and engage tool to help teach students the important message of acceptance. During the read aloud have students stop and discuss with their partner the a different emotions that Gerald might be feeling at that particular point in the story as well as stating Mr. Cricket's message in their own words.
After his kindergarten class takes a field trip to a ballet, Nate dreams of becoming a ballerina. Nate’s older brother, Ben, is not to fond of this idea. According to Nate, ballet is only for girls. Nate does not let Ben’s thoughts ruin his dream. Over the summer he reads all about ballet and practices his dancing skills. Once summer is over Nate’s mom enrolls him in a beginner ballet class. Nate is the only boy in the ballet class. Nate begins to think that Ben was right all along. Nate’s mom takes him to a professional ballet. He meets a male dancer in the ballet who explains to Nate that there are no boy ballerinas because ballerina means girl dancer. The dancer explains to Nate that there is nothing stoping him form becoming a ballerino, the term he would use for a boy ballet dancer. Nate cannot wait to tell Ben the news!
This text would be a great addition to any read aloud in Grades K-2. By incorporating this into a read aloud students are learning the valuable lesson of acceptance as well as gender roles. Students will be able to see that with acceptance there is no such thing as just "boy things" and "girl things."
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed
Naked mole rats are usually naked, but not Wilbur. Wilbur is a mole rat that prefers to wear clothes. He uses clothing as a way to express himself. He can dress fancy, silly, and even as an astronaut. All the other mole rats just can’t understand why Wilbur does not want to be naked. They constantly tease him for it. When the naked mole rats ask Wilbur why he wears clothes he responds with “Why not?” The naked mole rats have had enough of Wilbur’s nonsense and decide to let the oldest and most naked mole rat, Grand-pah, know the news of Wilbur. Grand-pah calls for a whole meeting of the colony where he praises Wilbur for his want to be different from all the other naked mole rats and even shows to the meeting dressed himself! The naked mole rats realize that there is nothing wrong with Wilbur wearing clothes and soon themselves even begin dressing in clothes.
This text would be great in a Grades K-2 read aloud. This story teaches students about accepting those that are different from ours with a little mix of humor which is sure to keep any student wanting to read more. When incorporating this text into a read aloud highlight to students that we all do not look alike because that makes us unique and allows us to express ourselves just like how Wilbur was able to express himself with his clothing.
The Sandwich Swap
Salma and Lily are best friends that do almost everything together! They play together and eat lunch together. The girls however, do not eat identical lunches. Everyday Lily brings a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat, while Salma brings a chickpea and hummus sandwich everyday. Each girl finds the other’s sandwich gross and revolting but won’t tell their feelings to each other. When the girls finally do reveal their feelings about each other’s lunches their friendship becomes divided as well as the whole school. Suddenly everyone was either Team Peanut Butter or Team Hummus. It is not until the girls take the time to swap sandwiches and try a something new that the sandwiches are not as gross as they first time. Salma and Lily take what they learn from their sandwiches to help build acceptance for other cultures throughout their school.
This text would fit perfectly incorporated into a lesson on cultural acceptance. Read the book during read aloud and then coordinate a classroom wide sandwich swap as Salma and Lily did for their school.
Below is a video featuring the author, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, discussing the message she wishes readers to take away from reading The Sandwich Swap.