My second grade students were honored to receive an autographed copy of Laura Purdie Salas’ newest book – Meet My Family – Animal Babies and Their Families. The book is illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman.
In the book, twenty baby animals introduce their families through rhyming text. Students learned new information about animal families. They also recognized some facts from our animal information writing and our studies of vertebrates/insects in science. This book lends itself to discussion that incorporates many curriculum areas – writing, science, engineering, social studies and social emotional skills. The back matter includes a map and the glossary has further explanation of the animal “parent names”. My students were particularly empathetic toward the animals who survive on their own from the beginning!
Laura has written over 125 books for children. We checked out many of them from the library. My students loved her books about various habitats and poured over the maps and text features. I heard, “Hey, come look at this. . .” many times while students were reading – information that needed to be shared! They also enjoyed books in her “Colors of… ” series and her “… Can Be ” series.
We used our shared reading discussion about families from the book to try different ways of writing. As we worked, I quickly realized that Meet My Family helped us to further build our classroom community as we shared new stories about our own families. For example, Ayla taught us about Azerbaijani pakhlava and Liliana taught us about her mother’s enchiladas.
Student sharing led us to appreciate the diversity represented in our own class. Students grew to have new understandings about their classmates and further develop interpersonal connections that are so important for success in school and in life outside of school.
Students wrote acrostic poetry with their own names and family member’s names and “Meet My Family” narratives and poetry.
Here is some of their writing:
Ayla’s rough draft plan of her poem. She first wrote the words on sticky notes so she could move them around to plan her poem. She decided to arrange her family words from “super simple” ideas then “simple” ideas, then “kinda simple”, then “unique” and lastly, “Super Unique!”
Here is the final poem – she wanted periods after the words.
Meet My Family by Ayla
Me and my 5 year old brother are helpers. Brave.
Books. Can’t take off the smile.
Math. Writing. Funny stuff.
People can’t tell I’m Asian. Cooking. Silly faces.
Azerbaijani pakhlava. Unique. Music.
Liliana’s Acrostic Name Poem
Collin’s poem about his Dad
Zion wrote about “My Bigs” – These are two people who work with Zion from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program. He feels that they are like “family” to him.
Meet My Bigs by Zion
Sean and Sarah are like family to me.
We go places, like their parent’s house.
They stay next to me when we go places.
At their parent’s house, we played ping pong.
Sarah even messed up sometimes and hit the ball into the air!
We made brownies.
They are the nicest people I ever met.
Meet My Family by Iona
My mom, my dad, my brother and my dog.
We play, eat and give each other comfort.
We were all born in different places.
The best thing about my family is being all together.
I’m so glad I’m not an orphan!
I might cry if I grow up and I’m not with any of them!
Meet My Family by Lux
Little brother Smith, Mom and Dad.
AND my mom is having a baby – I hope it’s a sister.
We play games like Sorry. We do art and drawing.
I like my family – they are funny and we help each other.
One time, my family met all together in North Carolina. Even the family from Oregon came to North Carolina. That was really fun to be with so much family.
Meet My Family by Brooklyn
My family has me, Marcus, London, DonnAi, Daisha and baby Paris -that is 5 girls and 1 boy. We like going to Chuckie Cheese and watching movies. When I get hurt, my mom takes care of me and gets a band-aid. We tickle each other and laugh at each other. Mom lets us buy Jolly Ranchers at the gas station. My mom and me, we cook together – macaroni and cheese, corn, chicken with hot sauce and green beans. When I think of my family, I think of happy.
For Teachers, Laura has resources at this link:
The views on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views, opinions, vision or strategies of the Madison Metropolitan School District.