Expand the possibilities for dramatic interpretations by having students create short performances of times when they took a chance in their own lives. Then, have students create their own illustrations using pencil and watercolor to portray a scene or idea trying to mirror the ways she creates texture and light through lines and color. As picturebooks seem to increasingly incorporate mixed media illustrations and the use of digital imaging, the illustrations in What Do You Do With a Chance? What do you notice about the illustrations? With each reading, invite students to ask new kinds of questions.
Then, discuss as a class ways that your students are inspired and how they inspire others. Resist the urge to offer too much direction as you solicit student responses. As picturebooks seem to increasingly incorporate mixed media illustrations and the use of digital imaging, the illustrations in What Do You Do With a Chance? The Mighty Pencil and Wondrous Watercolor. Have students select the parts they would like to portray including the protagonist, the townsfolk, and chance itself. Incorporate multimodal literacies by having students work in small groups to retell the story through dramatic methods. Discuss with students the idea that we all have similar questions floating around in our heads every day. The presence and absence of chance is poignantly felt across the pages giving full weight to the emotional decision-making the boy faces as he ponders what to do when chance reappears. Create a class action goal for ways the class can positively affect change in their school or local community such as: Have students set their own inspiration goals for the ways they want to inspire others to do good in the world. Support students to reflect on the ways this experience can enhance their understanding of characters in future stories. Representing Abstract Nouns as Physical Objects. Using Movement and Drama to Embody Chance. Also support students to notice that each page is a double-page spread, yet Besom plays with perspective to further support readers to identify with the emotion impact of the story. Try to say less so that your students say more. Consider with students the benefits of having a multilingual author-illustrator partnership. Consider incorporating daily journaling at the end of each school day for students to list three good things that happened in their day and one way they did something good for others. What do you notice about the illustrations? Following group performances, have students share out what they noticed were similarities and differences in their interpretations of the story. There have been a plethora of books released in recent years that support young people to consider positive habits of mind, healthy risk-taking, and the gift of failure. Invitations for Your Classrooms Compare and Contrast. As a company, Compendium has the motto: Based on student responses, create a class anchor chart to compare and contrast such things as the basic story elements, the ways the sentences are written, and the kinds of illustration techniques used by Mae Besom. View the sites below in Further Investigations for resources on how to teach children to ask questions. With a cast of comforting animal characters by his side, the boy finally decides to grab hold of chance in final scenes reminiscent of The Never Ending Story or Puff the Magic Dragon—texts where a young boy also flies aboard a magical creature. View other pencil and watercolor illustrations by Mae Besom. Create a Wonder Wall that serves as a classroom space for year-round questions that may not have simple answers or any answer at all.
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