Sunday, December 5, 2010


By Lauren Child
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3536-7

FROM THE FLAP: Always remember: It’s the worry you haven’t even thought to worry about that should worry you the most.

That’s what Clarice Bean’s copy of the Ruby Redfort Survival Handbook says, anyway—it’s crammed with useful information about getting out of tricky situations, like “How to Deal with Alien Life Forms” (give them the slip and run like crazy).

Clarice Bean has quite a few worries of her own, such as Worry No. 19: Robert Granger—will he ever leave her alone? Or Worry No. 9: largish spiders. But lately, she’s been more concerned with things like Worry No. 3: change, and how it sometimes comes along when you least expect it.

KATE’S TAKE: Lauren Child’s outstanding voice and her tongue-in-cheek humor make for an engaging, fun read.

DON’T LOSE SLEEP OVER IT, KID CLASSROOM BOOKS: Verbal/Linguistic, Intrapersonal, and Visual/Spatial
Give each student an 8x11 sheet of paper that has a lined bottom half, and a space for a picture at the top. Have each student write about their worst worry and end his or her entry with Ruby Redfort’s advice, Don’t lose sleep over it, kid. Send the book home with each student to share with her family and/or guardians.

LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS OH MY! (Kinesthetic and Interpersonal)
Ruby Redfort’s Survival Guide has lots of tongue in cheek “useful” advice about how to avoid large predators such as lions and bears. Play charades and ask the students to act out various predators and have the rest of the class guess which animal each student is impersonating.

PEN PALS: Interpersonal and Verbal/Linguistic
Clarice Bean and her classmates visit elderly people in a nursing home. Ask a local nursing home for the names of residents who might like to participate in a pen pal program. Have students pick a name from the list and write a letter to that individual.

On page 21 in the book, there’s an illustration of different facial expressions and what they actually mean. Compare and contrast two photos of people’s facial expressions and have students talk about the emotions each person is feeling. Then, ask them to share about a situation where they felt one way about an event that was happening and a friend or a sibling felt a different way about the same feeling. Here’s a link if you’re interested in finding out more about the Second Step program

SCENE SNIPPETS: Interpersonal and Verbal/Linguistic
Clarice Bean and her friend participate in acting class. In small groups of four or five students, have kids act out various scenes from the book. Afterward, have the whole class sequence the scenes from the beginning to the end of the book.

-Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child
-Lilly and the Pirates by Phyllis Root
-School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
-The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
-Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

I apologize for last week's missed post. An illness knocked my family and I off of our feet. Thanks for your understanding.

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