Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tasting Nonfiction Words

April is poetry month so it seems like a good time to celebrate jumping, thumping, nonfiction words. (Is any word not "nonfiction"?)

Below I've assembled sound samples to help in teaching language joy via my chant books. These books are a celebration of words, rhythm, rhyme, and biodiversity. (The newest celebrates veggies, farmer's markets, and farmers, too.)

After a quick reading of my upcoming (Beach Lane Books/S&S/June 14, 2011) book, Rah, Rah, Radishes: a Vegetable Chant, a 6-year old spontaneously practices, is able to chant a section, and has made up some dance moves to go with it. RahRahRadishesOutLoud

Here I teach the new chant to a large group, line-by-line. Rah Rah Radish youngauthorsconf

I teach word-by-word and challenge a group: Teaching Insect Chant

An older student rhythmically reads Bird, Bird, Bird_ A Chirping Chant

Here I perform a high speed version of the Fish Chant End

Another activity is to divide up into teams and have each act out a stanza of the chant. I wish I had video of what creative teachers did performing Ant, Ant, Ant: An Insect Chant during a recent inservice.

Last week I hefted durian fruit in the back of Saigon Market for a page reshoot for Go, Go, Grapes! A Fruit Chant, which will be out in 2012. I wish you INK readers could join me to eat the papayas, mangoes, grapes, and other fruit goodies I purchased from local grocers that were so helpful.

Please support your small, local grocers. They make life livable, cool cuisine possible, and keep areas of cities from becoming “food deserts.” Go traveling by checking out ethnic specialty groceries. There you’ll find recipes, strange fruits and vegetables, and wonderful new friends! My guess is that nonfiction authors and enthusiasts will find many great book ideas, stories, and geographic worlds by turning off the main streets and getting lost in neighborhoods of their own towns.

Um, no, I left the durian at the store. If you don’t know why, just consider that in some parts of Asia, durians are banned from crowded trains. I may try it out this summer when the weather is warmer and we can open the windows. Or you can invite me over if you’re going to prepare one!

I hope to see some of you at ALA. I'll be with nine other nonfiction authors sharing new nonfiction books, book talks, shelf talkers, and activities at the Sunday morning Nonfiction Book Blast session at ALA.

Note: Unlike my previous chant books, which had nonfiction text and hilarious partly-fictional illustrations, the two new books are 100% nonfiction, illustrated with photographs.

1 comment:

Gretchen Woelfle said...

What fun! Your love of language and nature shines forth. Would love to see you boogie to the books. Give us a video next time!