Tuesday, January 15, 2013

An Author's Visit

Some of our younger kids see Ms. Goodman in the halls or in their classrooms and know she help writes the PerkinsBlog.  They forget, however, that she has another part of her working life.  She writes books; she is an author.  Recently she visited Ms. Haney's first grade class to talk about her "other job."

She explained that all books start with ideas.  Sometimes a publisher, or book company, comes to her with an idea and asks her to write about it.  That's how she came to write about monster trucks, for example.

"These books are fun and I learn a lot," she said, but her favorites are often the books when she came up with the idea herself.  The kids liked the idea behind All in Just One Cookie.  It is actually two stories in one.  The first is a grandmother making chocolate chip cookies for her grandchildren.  Then each time Grandma puts a new ingredient in the bowl, we find out where that butter or chocolate came from.  Did you know that baking soda comes from a giant lake in Wyoming that dried up 50 million years ago?

Ms. Goodman read the kids another book based on one of her own ideas, Nature Did It First.  She showed them a picture of a human using an object or device, say, a woman carrying her baby in a Snugli.  Then the kids could guess what animal carries her baby this way--a kangaroo!  

Here Ms. Goodman showed a picture of a boy on skates protected by a helmet, shin guards, and elbow pads.  The caption said, "Armor."  What animal also protects itself with a hard outer core?

The kids had a lot of answers for that one.  Turtles, snails, crabs, beetles. Those were all right answers.  It turned out Ms. Goodman had picked another one for her book, though.  The armadillo!

Finally it was time for the kids to start working on ideas of their own.  Ms. Goodman asked them to come up with ideas for another book: People Did It Second. She showed them pictures of animals doing something and asked them to come up with human equivalents.  For example, in this picture, a mother gorilla has built a nest of branches and leaves for her and her baby to sleep on.  What do people have that is similar?

The kids came up with several ideas.  They also came up with some great ideas for what humans have that works like a pelican's pouch and the emperor penguin's practice of having a few adults taking care of lots of kid penguins.  As you can see, our first graders had many suggestions for that one.  

Good ideas, kids!