Saturday, June 25, 2011

Canadian Book Challenge: 50 Below Zero - Robert Munsch

I read and enjoyed this picture book back when The Spawn was an elementary school student and very much attached to anything Robert Munsch wrote. This was my favorite.  I'm not sure which one The Spawn liked best.  I do remember the time Robert Munsch came to town, though.  I'd never seen a bookstore so full of people in my life.  Fans of all ages were lined up clear out the door and down the sidewalk.

I ordered 50 Below Zero a few months ago to beef up the children's section of the Bybee-ary and had every intention of reading it to my Children's Literature class. During the semester, I put a really strong emphasis on the importance of picture books and gave the class a list of all the ways that they are important to a child's development as a reader.  This approach worked very well for a class of 62 second language learners whose levels were all over the place.   I was sorry we didn't get to 50 Below Zero, but we ran out of time.

Instead, I ended up reading it to my Native English 1 class.  One of the units had a reading exercise about a woman who not only sleepwalked, she sleepdrove the car one night.  There  were also some discussion questions about the best way to handle sleepwalkers.  We had 10 minutes left at the end of class, so I decided to read 50 Below Zero to them.  They loved the silliness, the repetition and the hilarious illustrations by Michael Martchenko.  Determined to wring every bit of English out of them that I could, I asked the students to translate the title into Celsius. "-45.5555" just doesn't pack the same punch, eh?


fantsmacle said...

What other children's books did you teach. I remember teaching children's lit was one of my favorite classes except for the grading.

Bybee said...

We did the history of children's literature, nursery rhymes, fairy tales & they had to keep a reading journal of everything we read in class & they made bookmarks with a children's lit or reading theme and our big book for the class was Charlotte's Web. It was difficult to cover a lot of ground because of MT, holidays and the spring festival. I hope I get to teach it again!