Sunday, October 23, 2011

Todd Parr Inspirations

The collection of classroom books we've made hardly fits in its basket, and we're only two months into the year.  Maybe that's because most anything can inspire the creation of one.  I discovered the inspirational and humorous children's author, Todd Parr, several years ago.  Read one of his books, and you'll see the possibilities.  

It's Okay to be Different is a book about various ways that we're all different, and how that's okay.  It meshes so well with one of our classroom's civil rights that says, "I have a right to be myself in this room.  This means that no one will treat me unfairly because I am black or white, tall or short, boy or girl, fat or thin."  (Literature is the perfect way to teach about character.  Thanks Todd.)  We made our own book, and each child dictated and illustrated their own page.

The Family Book touches on the fact that even though all families are different, all families share certain special qualities.  I believe that my classroom is a family, and I want it to feel like one too.  In honor of our classroom family, I asked each child what all families do.  This book reminds them of how our little family should act.

(Just a quick word about the above book.  Todd Parr has a unique way of illustrating with simple drawings and bright colors, skin and all.  I'm typically a stickler about illustrating our books with appropriate colors, but I gave them permission to "break the rules" with this book and paint a self-portrait the "Todd Parr way" as I call it.  They thought that was the coolest thing.)

Lastly, we created a book based on Reading Makes You Feel Good.  I asked my kids why reading makes them feel good.  By the way, I didn't ask them if reading makes them feel good.  I assume a lot of things in my room when it comes to their attitudes about literacy and try never to give them the opportunity to disagree.  

Thanks for the inspiration Todd!

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