Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Books about effort, including Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird

An elementary school recently invited me to read a book at their school assembly. They are working on the character trait of effort, and asked if I could pick a book that fit that topic.  If you remember my post about a Thanksgiving story, you'll know I love this type of challenge - finding a read aloud on a particular topic that I can also dress up for!  And you'll also remember that I have to read a lot of books to find the perfect one.  Finding a book to read to a whole elementary school is a tricky thing, but Giant Dance Party worked beautifully!

Lexy is a dancer, but she's done with dance classes.  Dance classes mean dance recitals, and those are NOT Lexy's thing.  But she decides that since she still loves dancing, perhaps she'll teach dance.  After all no performing is required of teachers (of course every teacher in the room rolled his/her eyes when I read that part!). Lexy goes through quite a lot of effort to get the dance lessons off the ground, unfortunately, all to no avail.  No one comes to her dance lessons.  Until...the giants.  And although giants don't dance, Lexy figures out (more effort) how to teach them to dance. And she discovers something about herself in the end as well. It's a fun and funny book that models the value of effort in a painless and non-didactic way that the kids enjoyed. AND since it mentions the chicken dance in the story, we all got to learn and do the chicken dance at the end.  It was a delight.  I'll be using the same story for another school that's focusing on perseverance after the holidays. If you haven't seen this book by the brilliant Betsy Bird, librarian and blogger extraordinaire, check it out soon.

Me in my Lexy costume

Other books I considered for my assembly presentation that have to do with effort are listed below.  I liked these books, but they weren't just right for the assembly.

The Improbable Life of Paul ErdösBy Heiligman, Deborah
By Yamaguchi, Kristi
How Nikola Tesla Lit up the WorldBy Rusch, Elizabeth
By Adler, David A.
How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest WomanBy Krull, Kathleen
Based on A True StoryBy Ryan, Pam Muñoz
[being the (slightly) True Narrative of How A Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) across the Plains]By Hopkinson, Deborah
Si, Se Puede! = Yes, We Can!By Bernier-Grand, Carmen T.
The Heart of A HeroBy Buehner, Caralyn

By Kimmel, Eric A.
By Fleming, Candace
Michael Jordan in Pursuit of A DreamBy Jordan, Deloris

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