In the Classroom: Chris Raschka

I’ve been a longtime fan of the children’s book creator, Chris Raschka, and so was completely delighted to see the interview he gave over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. This reminded me of the ways I’ve used his books in our weekly Literary Salons when the children bring in baked treats, I provide juice, and we do something “literary.”  Sometimes it is a bunch of prepared readings from recent books the kids have read.  Sometimes it is choral poetryOr original poetry. Sometimes it is readers’ theater.  Or something Newberyish. And sometimes it is Chris Raschka.

If I think the particular group of kids are right for it I read  Arlene Sardine, arguably his most controversial book.  I love it. Sometimes the kids do and sometimes they don’t get it at all.  Years ago I wrote “Pets and Other Fishy Books”  for Horn Book, mulling over kid responses to it and other unconventional books.  The kids I wrote about in the article didn’t get it, but later groups have.

Then there are the wonderful jazz books.  I’ve used Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, John Coltrane’s Big Steps, and Mysterious Thelonious playing the music before, after, or even during.  I’m afraid, not being musical myself, I can’t do the readings the justice that Chris does, but I try and the kids help me.  Often I conclude this salon with a completely different sort of music book, Simple Gifts.   The kids always participate in that reading.  Lovely.

If you are not familiar with the work of Chris Raschka, do check him out. There are many other wonderful books of his I’ve used elsewhere in the classroom — poetry books, music books, word books, and story books of all sorts.  Absolutely lovely.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Art, In the Classroom

4 responses to “In the Classroom: Chris Raschka

  1. Pingback: Centinnial1997.Com: News & Information » Music News as of August 26, 2009

  2. I’ve never read Arlene Sardine to a group of children — but sure would like to one day.

    Simple Gifts is sublime.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Books and Article Direct » Blog Archive » Posts about Story Books as of August 26, 2009

  4. Pingback: Revisiting: Chris Raschka’s Arlene Sardine | educating alice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.