February 19, 2018

So What and the Seven Giraffes

If you ask your child what their favorite part of their day is, they would probably respond with a quip like “Phys. Ed.,” “Lunch,” or “Recess.” Heck, those were my favorites when I was a kid and they still kind of are… Poke and prod a little further and you might get them to admit that they really like reading and read aloud. When you disregard my random yelling, shouting and enunciating as I take on the role of the characters in the books I read aloud from, this is a very sacred time. I’ve mentioned in the past that reading aloud is my favorite part of being a teacher and I’m really enjoying our new read aloud. It definitely spiced things up and changed the normal course for our read aloud.

Gregory Maguire is the author of a book called Wicked, a story about the Wicked Witch of the West before she became known as the Wicked Witch. You may have heard of it before or maybe you’ve heard of the musical that it inspired of the same name. Maybe you’ve even read it! (It’s still on my bottomless “To Read” List). Just before he wrote Wicked, he wrote a book titled Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales. Oh man, it’s a good one. Taking some traditional fairy tales and rewriting them with an eye on puns, Maguire created a masterpiece that is the source of constant humor. Instead of Snow White, it’s So What and the Seven Giraffes; instead of Goldilocks, it’s Goldiefox; instead of Hansel and Gretl, it’s Hamster and Gerbil. As any student can explain, we love puns in our classroom and this book is chock full of them.

Before I read a chapter from Leaping Beauty, I read the original fairy tale so students become familiar with the original version, or are reminded of the original version. It’s been a great experience so far and we’ll probably finish it next week or the week after.

I hope everybody has been able to enjoy this snowy weather in some way. May it be holding snowball fights or watching a marathon of Star Wars, enjoy the rest of your weekend no matter how long it lasts…


~Mr. B

Dan Barnard About Dan Barnard

Dan Barnard hails from the Green Mountain State of Vermont where he grew up skiing, biking, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the woods. He learned to drive on his parents' station wagons, learned to ski at Smugglers' Notch, and developed a love for traveling by participating in school trips to France and New York City. He worked in many jobs ranging from ski instructing to babysitting to an after-school program that helped him decide he wanted to be a teacher.

He enrolled in Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and earned a BA in Humanities with a focus on history and a concentration in Elementary Education. After working for two years in a suburban Boston community as a fifth grade teacher, he decided to move west to discover the beauty and bounty of Oregon. He worked for four years as a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teacher in Mosier, Oregon. While working in Mosier he enrolled in graduate school at Portland State University and earned a MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.