Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mr. Cookie Baker - an unexpected mentor text

***UPDATED with more pictures because I finally found my book! Sheesh 6/6/14***

I first owned Monica Wellington's Mr. Cookie Baker as a board book that I read to my youngest.  The book is bright, colorful, and I love cookies and baking.  So it was a win-win for reading to the baby. But the more I read it and noticed the illustrations, the more I got to feel that this would work excellently with my second graders as well. (The link to Monica's site also offers some activities to go with this book)

1. Illustrations

At my school we teach an Illustrations Unit to our kids.  It's one of my favorites to teach.  We spend time looking in books that we admire and noticing how Illustrations are an important part of the story.  They either clarify text, or add more information.  They can help the reader experience the emotion of your character or situation simply through facial expression or color choice.

What I like about Mr. Cookie Baker are how the illustrations frame the text- much like Jan Brett's technique in her books.  I like showing this to the kids as an example for if they don't feel comfortable with their drawing skills to draw one bog picture, they can assist the story by drawing small items around the edges.

2. Writer's Workshop
This book is also great for the beginning of the year to help reserved students realize they can still write a good story in a few sentences.  They just have to make sure their sentences are constructed with word choice in mind.

This book can come out again during our Informational Writing Unit as an example of How-To.  The entire story is a description of the steps the Baker takes everyday to make cookies and sell them to children.  Usually, How-Tos are straight directions.  This is a nice transitional example for kids still bent on the narrative form.

3. Math

An example of math in real life.  The page above, in particular.  "He counts and measures..." shows the importance of precise work.  It leads to the discussion- What would his cookies be like if he had only estimated?  When would it be appropriate for him to estimate? A trip tot he grocery store for what he needs for the week, becomes a relevant answer.

The illustrations are a great intro to fractions.  The subject matter lends itself to hands on exploration of either making real cookies according to recipe, or craft dough for pretend cookies.  Either way- the kids are counting and measuring. And, so important- PROBLEM SOLVING.

Computation and Estimation lends itself to how many cookies did we cut out, how many have we baked, how many will we have all together? 

Skip Counting enters the court when we start looking at cookie sheets with set numbers of cookies on them.

Time is easily put into play with how long will they be in the oven?  What time will it be by the time they have cooled?  How long does it take to decorate one cookie, or twenty?

Money can't be forgotten ass the Baker sells the cookies near the end of the story.  how much should you charge for one cookie?  How much will you have if you sell ten?

I sincerely doubt that there is a math strand that can't be applied to this book.

4. Social Studies

No way! Yes way- Economics, my kittens.  Mr. Cookie Baker is a producer, the kids are consumers.  Mr. Cookie Baker uses several natural and capital resources during his day, and he himself is a human resource.  Does he provide a service, or does he sell goods?  Is it both?  What other producers does Mr. Cookie Baker have to rely on to make his cookies?  Is he therefore also a consumer?

And all this easily translates into enough background knowledge for the kiddos to design their own shop and list the natural and capital resources they would need to offer a service or sell a good.

5. Science

I've got to be kidding, right?  This is a book I read to a toddler for Pete's Sake!  But it's in there.  Solids, Liquids, and Gases when you analyze the ingredients Mr. Cookie Baker needs. Scientific Method if you just give the kids some ingredients to make craft dough but no instructions on how to actually do it. The role of evaporation as a cookie gets harder as each day goes by.

Convinced yet? If you click either picture, it'll take you to Amazon to buy it now! You know you want to!
I was inspired today to try to make some complimentary clipart.  My attempt is a freebie in my store for the next 48 hours.  I'd love to know what you think- as I did all of the art this time by myself. Click the picture below to go get a set.

Speaking of my wonderful sister- she's getting ready to go work on Pinkalicious: The Musical in the next few weeks.  She'll be making costumes!  How cool is that?  My daughter has always loved the Pinkalicious books!  I'm looking forward to getting to see the show and share about it here on the blog! Wow, I went a bit nutty with the exclamation points there, but it IS exciting!!! Ok. Now stop, Heather.  Stop.  But- if you're near the DC/Maryland area- you might want to check it out.

And even MORE news- 
I'm on a roll with the clip art, kittens.  I finished up the next Armadillo pack in the wee hours of the evening yesterday:

And of course, I had to make him a video:

I've been checking in regularly at the linky to see other teachers' book selections- and I've found tons more to load up my Amazon wishlist with (oh, but to win the lottery and spend it all at Amazon and Target!) - professional books too!  Go to Deanna's post to link up your own book - I want to know! and see all the other great ideas out there.  Thanks for the great linky, Deanna!

I'm going to go find some cookies...

GAR! I almost forgot!  Did you hear about Reading Rainbow on Kickstarter?  I do not have $10,000 for the chance to wear the one and only Geordi Laforge original STNG visor- but I did donate $25 for a great cause.  My first investment!  Next, up, the i-STAAPS!

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  1. A wonderful way to integrate a text across the curriculum! Thanks for sharing! Now, I need to go get the book. Smiles and stop by anytime!

  2. Wow! Great post! Clearly I need to get that book. I'm pinning:)
    Isn't clipart making fun? It's so addicting.
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. Great post! I'm going to pin the book too! I love the idea of doing an illustrations unit! I've been to many art shows where it has been illustrators works (without the words) and the art is just amazing!

  4. What a great little book with SO many uses. I definitely added it to my list- for the science parts.
    Thanks for sharing it!

    Teachers Are Terrific!