Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!

A. Title: Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S. So Does May.)

B. Author: Barbara Park

C. Illustrator: Denise Brunkus

D. Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

E. Genre: Realistic Fiction, Novel

F. Reading Level: 1-3

G. Summary: It's time for the holidays, and Junie B. Jones is short by a buck for Secret Santa shopping and stressing. May has a few extra dollars, but the money is for her emergencies and no one elses. Junie tries to convince May for the dollar, but she just ended up telling May how they weren't friends and how she didn't even like her. May and Junie B. Jones did not get along. Each student gets a sack to decorate for their secret santa sack; their secret santa would put their gift in their sack during lunch the next day. When it came time to draw for secret santa, guess who Junie B. Jones got? May, she had to buy May a present! Junie B. plans to give May what she deserves in her secret santa sack. Junie B.'s teacher, Mr. Scary, tries convincing her that if she gives May a good gift that it will make her feel really good inside. In the end, Junie B. decides not to give May exactly what she deserves as her secret santa gift. Instead, Junie B. decides to give a real gift instead of teaching May a lesson.

H. Response: I had never before read a Junie B. Jones book before, but I had heard many good things about them. I constantly saw how well they were doing on book lists, and that was part of the reason I decided to read them; I had also seen many elementary school girls reading the Junie B. Jones series during tutoring sessions. Once I picked the book up I couldn't stop reading it because I absolutely love Junie B. Jones; the character's innocense and personality just worked so well for me. She made me laugh with some of her thought process too; for example, when May told Junie that her father said she shouldn't let friends borrow money, Junie told May that that was more than ok because she wasn't May's friend and she wasn't going to pay her back. After May got mad and told her she couldn't have any money, Junie B. couldn't figure out why her best argument skills hadn't worked. The other kids in the class had to explain to Junie B. the few reasons why May would have acted that way. Since reading this book, I definitely plan on purchasing the Junie B., First Grader series, plus the other Junie B. Jones books, for my future classroom library.

I. Teaching Ideas: For all of the Junie B. Jones Series there are many online resources for classroom application. On the Random House's website, there are great Junie B. Jones links including brief information on each Junie B. book in the series, a letter from Junie B. Jones, biographical information on Barbara Parks, activites, and future reading suggestions. Some of the activities included are a Junie B. quiz, coloring with Junie B., word search, picture search, Tic Tac Toad, Junie B. mask, and the list goes on. The website Teachers at Random has a lesson plan specifically for Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (PS So Does May). Before reading the story, the lesson plan suggest discussing with the class the concept of secret santa. After the class reads the story, this website offers excellent discussion questions that are to help students fully understand what they've read: Why do May and Junie B. have such a hard time getting along?, Do you think they'll ever become friends? Are they both to blame? Why or why not?, Why isn't Junie B. excited to be a secret santa?, Mr. Scary tells Junie B. "If you do something nice for May, you'll feel so proud inside. It will feel like a gift that you've given yourself." What does this mean and do you agree?, In the end, why does Junie B. change her mind? This website also has three links to Junie B. worksheets; one of which is a secret santa shopping list and you have $10 to spend. The Junie B. Jones series just seem like alot of fun and something that will be enjoyable to the students for classroom application. There are also holiday and moral lessons that can be applied to the classroom.


Dr. Frye said...

I am glad to see you read a Junie B. Book! I love your example with borrowing money...it's like Junie B. says the things many of us adults wish we could say...ha!
Thanks for including the links to the web sites.

Jingle said...

Thanks for Sharing the lesson plans: is it still working:I juts love Jingle bells: