Mooooving the Reader with Feelings

frecklefaceHow many times have we heard a child read word by word without any feeling?  Reading with expression and understanding character feelings is what the first graders have been working on in the library and in class.  While reading Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore, in the library, the students had to analyze the character’s facial expressions, body language and context clues given by the author to determine how the character was feeling in the story.  The main character went from feeling sad and alone to happy and loved.


mooOnce you understand how a character feels, it is time to add those emotions to your reading voice.  What better book to demonstrate this with other than Moo! by David LaRochelle.  During the first reading of this story, the students did not see the pictures and the words were read without any feeling. Since every word in the book is “Moo” the students soon figured out that using expression while reading gives meaning to the story.  The pictures support text features such as bolded letters, font sizes, capitalization and punctuation.


Experience for yourself how much meaning can be extracted from just the expressive way a story is read!


For more information on Moo as well as teacher guides and activities visit David LaRochelle’s website.

Visiting Illustrator Draws Students to New Ideas

Harris homeroom with FordNorris students recently enjoyed a visit will illustrator AG Ford.  Mr. Ford discussed with the students how he loved drawing as a child.  When he decided he was not any good at basketball, his art teacher encouraged him to continue his education and pursue scholarships with his art abilities.  Attending college in Ohio he discovered the winters were a lot more fierce than Texas weather!

In college he leaned he needed to study and understand how the skeletal and muscular systems worked to draw animals and people.  Ford helped the children understand studying is a part of every career.  He also emphasised how he never gets a sketch right the first time.  He may draw a panel 20 or 30 times before he gets it right.  That’s right Norris students, no more complaining when your teachers ask you to redo something once or twice!

Ag Ford’s big break came when he illustrated the New York Best Selling biography Barack by Jonah Winter.

Shape faceStudent work“Anyone can draw!” Mr. Ford continued to tell the kids. “It is just combining shapes.”  If you know the basic shapes (Square, circle, triangle, rectangle) you can draw anything.  Ford displayed some of his basic drawings, as well as some of his more complex drawings, and showed the kids the starting shapes.  He used this technique to show the Norris Students how to draw a face.

The kids and teachers enjoyed the visit with AG Ford.  Fourth Grade teacher, Katrina Kyser wrote, “This was SUCH a cool opportunity!! I loved this author/illustrator visit!!”  The students could not wait to check out his books and try their hand at drawing a few of the tricks he showed them.