Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reading The Skirt with Third Graders

"After stepping off the bus, Miata Ramirez turned around and gasped, "Ay!" With this intriguing first sentence from the book The Skirt, third graders are pulled into the story and Miata's problem. She has left her folklorico skirt on the bus after she and her best friend Ana have moved from seat to seat in order to escape a few of the boys who are being a nuisance. Miata has been rehearsing the folklorico with her dance troupe for months and will be performing it on Sunday. As she left it on the bus on Friday she is very worried about how to get this skirt that has a lot of meaning for her mother back. Her mother wore this skirt as a girl in Mexico and is looking forward to seeing Miata perform in it.
Students have made connections to Miata and her tendency to forget and lose things. They also have made connections to her family life and the way her parents and younger brother celebrate the end of the work week, the way she cooks with her mother and watches out for her younger brother. We have also discussed how Miata's friend Rodolfo can at times bother her and other times be a great friend. Many students have shared similar experiences with friends and siblings. There are many opportunities to make predictions as to how Miata will solve her problem. Students are mixed as to whether an adult will find out that Miata has lost her special skirt and help her or whether Miata and her friends will solve the problem.
Everyone reading this book is looking forward to our next session of reading.

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