Best known for his widely beloved “Miss Smith” books (including Miss Smith Under the Ocean, Miss Smith and the Haunted Library, Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook, and others), Michael Garland has illustrated more than thirty of his own books and nearly forty books authored by others.
Garland met with students in five separate sessions, describing how he writes and where his ideas come from, showing students a dummy copy of one of his books, and doing some illustrations for them. The students worked in advance to read a number of his books and to prepare compelling questions for him.
Garland’s visit was funded by proceeds from two years’ worth of PPS book fairs (to learn more about book fairs and why they are important, read this CSD Spotlight post). PPS librarian Mary Ann Kadish has also purchased assorted classroom technology with book fair proceeds; she recently purchased a digital camera and will soon acquire two iPads with the book fair funds.
Speaking of classroom technology, a group of second-grade students created a book trailer based upon Michael Garland’s books using iMovie; the students summarized their books of choice, selected illustrations to accompany their summaries, and recorded their voices to create the complete project. (Please click here to view it and to hear the students’ excellent reading!)
Students have also used iPads and the app Haiku Deck to create slideshows to facilitate their learning and understanding.
Additionally, Ms. Kadish uses a document camera in her work with the students so that the students can benefit from seeing the pages in a much larger format, allowing them to better appreciate the artwork and to more fully engage with their various literacy-related activities, including connections with geography, celebrating different cultures, critical thinking, and more.
As part of their study of literacy, the students have also studied parts of a book, including such elements as spine labels, title pages, and dedication pages. “We have looked at dedication pages and noticed connections to family, teachers, and others who have influenced Michael’s life,” Ms. Kadish said. “We have also noticed that he uses people’s names and situations he is familiar with to write about.”
To read a recent interview with Michael Garland, please click here.
If you would like more information, please call Porters Point School at (802) 264-5920, or e-mail librarian Mary Ann Kadish (email@example.com).
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