Greed is on my mind today for two reasons. The first is a Michael Josephson Commentary that's got me reflecting. Click here to read and/or listen to The Monkey Pot, a compelling story about how greed trapped a little monkey and the bigger lesson about why it's important to let go.
The second is because I was recently reminded about one of my all-time favorite read-alouds.
Title: Rotten and Rascal - The Two Terrible Pterosaur Twins
Author & Illustrator: Paul Geraghty
Publisher & Date of Publication: Barron’s Educational Series - February 1, 2006 (Fiction)
Suitable For: Kindergarten – 3rd
Opening Page: 65 million years ago the world was a deafening place. There were thunderstorms. There were volcanoes. There were landslides. And there were earthquakes. But most of the noise came from Rotten and Rascal.
Brief Synopsis: Rotten and Rascal, two baby pterosaurs who quarrel constantly, find themselves fighting over a single fish. Shouts of “It’s mine!” enrupt and the battle begins. Friends come along and try to help the twins settle their dispute, but, trapped by their greed, the T-Rex ends up putting an end to their squabbles.
Links To Resources: Check out the enrichment activity ideas at the Playing By The Book blog and see my suggestions below.
Why I Like This Book: First of all, its alliteration and emotive force make it SUCH a fun read-aloud. These two siblings are seriously squabbling! Kids get such a kick out of the ridiculousness of their battle (Mrs. Gruener, why don’t they just SPLIT the fish?). Secondly, I just LOVE the friends who try to help solve their problem by throwing out this random criteria about who ought to get the fish because it launches SO perfectly into a discussion about fairness. Finally, the metaphor that greed can eat us alive is an excellent springboard for a discussion not only for how things could have been different, but also for the things that we might get greedy about that we really could do without.
Be warned: Your students won't believe the shocking ending, simply scripted to drive home the point that greed and inflexibility really can eat us alive if we're not willing to let it go.
An interesting self-reflection for both of these tales might be to ask yourself what's something that you really ought to let go of?
As a follow up, have students rewrite the ending. What would happen to the twins had they done something differently before their untimely meeting with the T-rex? What could they have done to change the problem and how would that change what happened to them? Where are they now? What are they doing? How are they feeling? Are they getting along or still fighting? How did this situation affect the way they make choices now? In other words, what, if anything, did they learn from this challenge? Encourage them to let their imaginations fly and see what changes, if any, they make so that they're able to enjoy life.
You can also check out these three titles that tackle this same topic:
So I'm linking up with Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday; why not head that way and do the same?
|Click image for today's PPBF!|