We went on a field trip last week (more on that later, I hope) to see a puppet show of Peter and the Wolf. In preparation for the trip we listened to the music and narration. Then we read a picture book of the story. The students clearly understood more from the book.
As I read it to them I noticed one little girl sitting with rapt attention. She has many pets and her mom works with animals. When the wolf ate the duck she looked horrified. She spent the rest of the book with a very concerned look on her face. I've never seen such an expression from her.
At the end of the book it is revealed that the duck is still quacking, inside the wolf's stomach, because the wolf swallowed the duck whole. I've always thought that was awful. How does that help the duck? It's not as though the duck is going to get back out. The look on this girl's face suggested that she felt the same way.
Just about fifteen minutes later this same child was sitting across a table from my little prince. He was conferencing about his writing with our fabulous literacy coach. I'm not sure about the topic of his piece, but he was trying to come up with a word and he said, "You know, it was the glue on the tree."
This little girl looked at him and said, "Tree sap?" He was shocked that she knew what he meant and she went back to work on her writing with such a proud, happy look on her face.
Just watching her face made for such an interesting afternoon.