Monday, December 25, 2017

Lesson Idea: When the Moon Comes

When the Moon Comes features gorgeous writing by Paul Harbridge that makes it the perfect mentor text for a descriptive writing unit.

The story of kids who wait for the weather to get cold enough to freeze a pond for hockey, the writing brings the reader out in the snow with them. In class, I would read the book aloud and have students remember a line or two that speaks to them. We would then review them and discuss why we are affected by sentences like, "We drink scalding tea and eat toasty sandwiches, then tramp contented back into the night."

Then, I would have students think about extreme weather they have experienced and write their own sentences with the goal of making the reader feel like they are there. My Bahamian kids could try to evoke the feeling of a hurricane, while I could use my Boston roots to try to imitate this sentence: "Our wet pants freeze solid in the cold, and we walk clanking like knights in armor, lances over our shoulders, hoods like helmets around our faces."

With its atmospheric illustrations, I wonder how many kids would pick this book up on their own, although hockey fans don't have a ton of reading options, so that might sway some readers. Still, there are books that are worth sharing and the writing makes When the Moon Comes one of them.

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