Thanks to Nimbus Publishing who sponsored this post (and provided a book for a giveaway) so that we can help cultivate little readers who love local books! As always, all opinions are our own.
If You Could Wear My Sneakers (the 20th anniversary edition) by Sheree Fitch, with artwork by Darcia Labrosse, is a collection of poetry in that classic Fitch silly rhyming style that is adored by children and adults alike. Each poem deals with a serious topic though as the book teaches children about the 1989 United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child.
This is the August pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club and we've created a couple reading extension activities for this book to connect children even further with understanding their rights, and learning about poetry.
I'M A POET AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT!
After reading these poems kids will surely be inspired to create fun rhymes of their own. A wonderful way to let the creativity flow, and to encourage kids to have fun with reading, is to create a Poetry Wall (well, technically, in our house, it's a Poetry Door, but you could also use your fridge or a metal baking sheet, whatever surface magnets will stick to in your house).
Get a box of magnetic poetry or create your own with magnet sheets found in office supply stores. To make your own, print some words on the sheet with marker or a printer and then cut them out. Make sure to include some easy rhyming words like cat and hat, stay and play, make and cake, etc. as well as all the other fun parts of a sentence (nouns, prepositions, adjectives, you know, basic grammar rules).
For pre-readers you may wish to use images with the words as a cue. Sites like Pixabay provide free source images that are great for these types of projects.
Scatter them over the surface, or place them one by one on the door, saying each one out loud for the children as you do it, and then let the children explore the words. For my son, Mr. M (who is almost four) he just wanted to know what each word said and loved moving the words around and then having me read the silly "poems" he created.
Miss M (almost six years old) was excited to see many of the sight words she'd learned in grade primary and she immediately started shuffling them around to make sentences.
She found a couple rhyming words and I encouraged her to think about something to say with them with the words we had at hand. The result was this poem she came up with - not bad for her first attempt at writing poetry!
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
One of the beautiful things about this book is how it presents a very adult thing in a very child friendly way. The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child is written by adults, obviously, and doesn't make a very entertaining or comprehensive read for a child. However, these are our kids' rights and something they deserve to know and understand.
Fitch was able to take that legalese and translate it into a form that children not only understand, but also ENJOY. At the back of the book she even includes a reading extension exercise (yay!) to reinforce the message she's trying to send.
Create a Wall of Rights in your house. Start by copying each poem. You can go full size with a photocopier, or use a photo scan app as we did. I scanned each poem with my phone and then put it on a Word doc and printed them out to the size we wanted).
Use a large bulletin board or just tape each poem to the wall, then cover it up with a piece of coloured paper with a number on it that corresponds to the article number in the convention.
Have a child choose a number, then lift the paper back to see the image of the poem. Open the book to find the matching poem and read it together. Talk about what the children think the poem is saying to them.
Then read the matching article number from the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child that goes with it (it is included in the back of the book) and explain to the children what that means their rights are.
This opens some great conversations with children about why it's important for them to know this information. It's also an opportunity to talk about how not all children in the world, or even in our own country, are afforded these rights and why that isn't okay.
This would be a great project to do over the course of a few weeks by opening up and reading one each day with the children and adding more activities that relate to the particular right for that day!
WIN THIS BOOK!
We’ve teamed up with Nimbus Publishing to give away a copy of If You Could Wear My Sneakers to one lucky reader. Click on this link and hop on over to facebook. Then LIKE the Itsy Bitsy Haligonians Facebook page, LIKE the status, and COMMENT on the status. One random winner who has done all three tasks will be drawn on Tuesday, August 22 at 8 p.m. AST. Good luck!
*Winners must be age of majority in their home province/state and be residents of North America. This contest is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Thanks for joining us! If you haven't read our other book club posts yet, be sure to check out Atlantic Animal ABC (part 1 and part 2), Let's Read, The Snow Knows, Abigail's Wish, A Harbour Seal in Halifax, Be A Night Detective and The Land Beyond the Wall.