2.21.2014

PPBF: Something Else

Today's PPBF, one of my all-time favorite books to read aloud, is


Title: Something Else
Author: Kathryn Cave
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Publisher: Mondo Pub
Date: April 5, 1998
Suitable for: ages 6 and up
Fiction
Themes: Celebrating differences, empathy, acceptance
Brief Synopsis: Try as he might, this little blue creature named Something Else just doesn't quite fit in. But when an orange Something shows up on his doorstep, will Something Else recognize him as an opportunity for companionship knocking?
Opening page:  On a windy hill alone with nothing to be friends with lived Something Else.

Resources:

A previous post at the Corner called It's Golden {here}.
Find some activities from Schools Linking Network {here}.
Engage with a Same and Different Lesson {here}.
Try these activities from Stonewall {here}.

In peace class, we used a ball of yarn to set up the story with an object lesson about differences. We brought a volunteer up and listed all of the ways she was different from us. With every difference, we wrapped her up with another round of the string. When we'd finished, she was stuck! I asked what her life would be like if each of these differences was something she worried about. They didn't know how she'd eat, open a door, write, or play. We all agreed that focusing on differences as bad or something to worry or stress about definitely ties people up ... but embracing and, yes, celebrating differences sets us free.


We also used this problem poster ... it fit right in with Patch, my pirate puppet, who wants to fit in but is quite different from us.


It's interesting to use this poster across four grade levels ... K students say that the problem is that the one zebra is too small, a first grader noticed that there wasn't any water for them, and by second and third they're able to notice that his stripes don't go the same way. Such a great picture for a "not good, not bad, just different" discussion.

Then a read-aloud of Something Else and our lesson on not only accepting but celebrating differences is complete!

Why I like this book:  

Not only is it a fun read-aloud with rich food for thought about differences, but it's got amazing illustrations, like this one:


I use this page to ask my students to put themselves in Something Else's shoes. How is he feeling? How can they tell? What would they need if they were to switch places? When they answer "a friend," sure enough, Something Else gets his chance at a true friendship on the very next page. But he doesn't see it like that right away.

Check out this book to see how your students react when Something Else tells Something that he is most definitely NOT his "sort of something else."

Note: In preK peace class, we played a fun rendition of London Bridge Is Falling Down using these lyrics that I wrote:

Everyone is di-fer-ent, di-fer-ent, di-fer-ent.
Everyone is di-fer-ent; we respect that.

And they went home with a unifying song in their heart!






21 comments:

  1. oh, I've never seen this book. And it looks like a good story - I love your picture of the zebras, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - that zebra picture was actually something that was left for me 15 years ago by the former counselor here ... I found it this past summer in a box, dusted it off and laminated it. There's a series of 10 of them and they all have a problem of some kind, so we use them to discuss solutions and stakeholders.

      Delete
  2. I haven't read this book either. It sounds like a wonderful book to discuss differences. But, what I really like are your activities. The yarn activity really gets the message across and also deals with the topic of worry that you're not good enough. Great selection! Am always eager to see what you share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that fills my bucket. Thank you, Pat, for stopping by and sharing your reflections with me.

      Delete
  3. This looks a gorgeous story which will initiate so much discussion. Love these illustrations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is, Joanna. At one point, I had heard it was out of print, but it did look like it's still available online. It's worth looking for!

      Delete
  4. This looks like a great story for opening a dialogue about how we are all different and all the same. LOVE your activities! Thanks for another great book, Barbara! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Susanna. Thank you for hosting PPBFs ... I do believe that Friday is my favorite day to blog!

      Delete
  5. What a terrific lesson idea! Is your Peace Class part of the curriculum in school? Love that cover too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great question, Julie. I used to call my counseling classes "guidance" but it changed two years back when one of my little peacemakers got out of her car in the morning, gave me a big hug and said she sure hoped that she was going to come to "Peace Class" today ... loved it and it stuck. So basically it's the old guidance class ... with a character twist ... Thank you for your kind affirmation.

      Delete
  6. How absolutely wonderful - the book, the zebra picture, and the object lesson!! Love them all and I will definitely find this book. May I use all of these with my kids? And where might we find the zebra picture and the set you mentioned? Thanks for a great suggestion for PPBF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Laura Anne; you may absolutely use it with your kiddos! When I laminated the posters, I cut off the bottom which said where they were from ... ugh! Wonder if you could drag the picture off and then posterize it at a local copy place?

      Delete
  7. You are truly a wonder Ms Gruener! This book looks awesome. And I like that activity - tying up the girl. very clever. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhythm. I just love it when you stop by the Corner. I wish that we lived closer!

      Delete
  8. When I saw the title, I had a number of story ideas pop into my head. I was delighted to read this review. I hope our library has this title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do, too, Stacy. Otherwise you might find an inexpensive copy on eBay or Amazon ... I'm glad I could introduce this treasure to a few more friends!

      Delete
    2. I love that string activity. What a great book for kids.

      Delete
  9. I love the sound of this book (Of course, I ordered it as soon as I saw your post!) I'm still looking for the zebra poster... Sending you love and thanks for always sharing such inspiring titles...

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Kim. I get so, SO excited about good read-alouds and I predict you'll love Something Else! And your students will undoubtedly be challenged by filling in the holes ...

      Delete
  10. Beautiful choice. A great tool for kids and love the pics. Great ideas and resources. Thanks Barbara.

    ReplyDelete

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...