by Christine Tigue
My school is an urban Title I school with most students reading below grade level. It is work to make reading seem fun and enjoyable because many of my students do not have books at home. I get to see every class in the library every week. I take October to complete a unit with Kindergarten on Frankenstein adaptations for children.
I start October with my go-to Frankenstein book for Kindergarten is Frank was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance by Keith Graves. It is filled with rhyming words, detailed pictures, and engaging text. The graphics can get a little disgusting, but the kids love it. This is a book they ask for again and again.
We skipped a week to read the principal’s book of the month which had nothing to do with Frankenstein, but we recovered from our Frankenstein absence with Do Not Build a Frankenstein! by Neil Numberman. This book focused on building a monster, but then the monster became a nuisance to the creator. The monster went away for a while, but eventually makes his way back to the creator.
Next we moved on the Frankenstein’s Cat by Curtis Jobling. This book told how the cat was made of 9 different animals and of his loneliness. The cat was so lonely that he asked Frankenstein to create a friend which turns out to be a dog. Throughout the month I give them information about the real Frankenstein and Mary Shelley.
Lastly, the 4th and 5th grade book club discussed literary adaptations after we finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I read the chapter, The Chocolate Room, and had the students draw what they imagined the Chocolate Room looked like from the book descriptions. Then we watched the 1971 movie adaption of the Chocolate Room scene followed by the 2005 version of the same scene. It was very interesting to hear what the students thought. Some thought the 1971 version was like the book and some thought the 2005 was more like the book. The 2005 was scripted more like book, even quoting it.
The Remaking of Monsters and Heroines NEH Teacher Institute is one of the best professional learnings I have ever done. Sean and Lissette have so much information to share. Even though I work in an elementary school, I have used that information with my students.
Christine Tigue is a library media specialist at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Atlanta, Georgia where she is always trying to help students find the perfect book. She, her husband, and spoiled dogs live a few miles from Downtown Atlanta in a historic home that is always in need of repair. Her favorite activities include cycling, hiking, knitting, kayaking, gardening, and cooking. Christine’s reading taste span from There’s Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom to Hillbilly Elegy to A Gentleman in Moscow.