When I went to college, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. I grew up living next door to my grandmother and aunt, both of whom were high school teachers, and I loved to read and learn new things. What could be a better profession for me than instilling that love of learning to others? Tonight, as I read my son's book baggie homework with him, I was reminded of how amazing learning is. He brought home his first sight word ring and surprised me by reading many of the words without assistance. Young learners are like amazing little sponges. Eager, willing and full of life.
As I was thinking about what book to review for you tonight, I was thinking back to all of the groups of students I've taught in college and as a classroom teacher. I thought of all of the Fall and Halloween books that I own and use and I thought way back to a practicum in a first grade classroom during the Fall of my senior year. One of the first solo lessons I taught in that classroom was with the book The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Being the novice that I was at the time, I believe my cooperating teacher suggested the activity to go along with this book, but I've used it every year I've taught with all of my kindergarten through second grade classes and each class loved it.
In The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything a little old lady is out for a walk in the woods when she encounters some lively clothing. Instead of becoming scared of the boots clomping, pants wiggling, a shirt shaking, gloves clapping, a hat nodding, and a pumpkin head booing behind her the little old lady keeps on walking. When she reaches her house, she comes up with a great idea for the clothing that wants to scare.
When reading this story I always hand out clothing (a hat, a pair of gloves, pants, boots, etc.) students so that we can act out the story as we read. They have so much fun acting and retelling. This book is the perfect blend of scary and smart with a great surprise ending kids will love. What are you afraid of?