More Than Anything Else

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1 A RIF GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY COORDINATORS Before reading: This story is about a boy who wants to learn to read. He does not give up on this goal. Ask if anyone has ever had something they wanted so badly they would not give up until it happened. RELATED ACTIVITIES A BANNER DAY (AGES 5-12) Materials: bulletin board paper, markers, tape Have children write or draw a goal for themselves and sign their names. Title the banner, Go for the Goal. Hang it up to remind them of what they want to achieve. SALT DOUGH (AGES 5-8) Materials: 1 cup salt, 4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups warm water, medium bowl Mix flour and salt together. Add water. Knead dough, adding a little flour if it is too sticky. Roll it out like cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes or letters. SALT ART (AGES 9-12) Materials: paper, pencils, glue, paint brush, tray, colored salt* *Make colored salt the day before. Put salt in a plastic baggie for each color. Add food coloring. Shake until coated. Lay out on newspaper to dry. Create a picture using colored salt. 1. Have kids draw a picture in pencil first. 2. Place picture in a tray. Brush on glue mixture (1/2 glue, 1/2 water), following the lines of the drawing. 3. Sprinkle with salt. Shake off extra into tray. 4. Continue to paint and sprinkle until picture is finished. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR Some Friend (2007), Once Upon a Farm (2002), Momma, Where Are You From? (2000). TECHNOLOGY LINK FOR KIDS

2 A RIF GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS Content Connections: Social Studies BEFORE WE READ, LET S LOOK AT... The Cover: Have students make predictions about the time period in which the story is set and what they think the little boy on the front cover is thinking about. What could the title mean? The Pictures: Show the picture on the dedication page. Discuss what students see here: Where is the little boy? What do you notice about him? Prior Knowledge: Explain that this story takes place around 1865 in West Virginia (show on a map). In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was issued and former slaves were granted freedom. Use a KWL chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kwl_table) to find out how much students know about this time period. List any questions they have. Vocabulary: tales, barrels, coopers, lantern, saltworks Purpose for Reading: As we read today, think about how Booker s feelings change as he learns to read. WHILE WE READ MONITORING COMPREHENSION Why is the salt so important? What do you notice about the workers at the saltworks? Why is the frog important? Why do you think the author included it? What types of stories do you think the people in town are telling? Why are the people gathered around the man with the newspaper? Where do you think Booker s mom got the book? LET S THINK ABOUT Our Purpose: Revisit the purpose: How do Booker s feelings change as he learns to read? What evidence can you find in the text to support your answer? Extending Our Thinking: Encourage students to explore the text more deeply by asking critical thinking questions. What do the pictures tell us about Booker s family? Why do you think Booker wanted to learn how to read? In the story, Booker says, I have jumped into another world and am saved. What does he mean by that? How would being able to read change Booker s life? NOTE TO EDUCATORS Extension Activities for Educators also available. Vocabulary Scaffolding Sheet also available.

3 A RIF GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES Before reading, make connections: Discuss what it means to want something very badly. What does your child think the boy in the story wants more than anything else? While reading, look at the pictures: Notice what the pictures tell you about Booker and his family. How did they live? What was important to them? After reading, ask questions: Why do you think Booker had to work all day at the age of 9? Why was Booker not in school? Why does he want to read? Where do you think his mom got the book? What might have happened if the newspaper man hadn t come? RELATED ACTIVITIES EASY CORN CAKES Ingredients: 2 c. sifted flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 2 eggs (beaten), 1 can cream style corn, 2 c. milk, 1/4 c. melted butter 1. Combine dry ingredients; set aside. 2. Combine eggs, corn, milk, butter. Mix wet and dry ingredients. 3. Fry on slightly greased skillet until golden brown, turning once. OUT AND ABOUT In Booker s time, some children worked as hard as adults. What type of job could your child do to help someone out? Cut the grass? Water plants? Carry groceries? CREATE A LAYERED BOOK Materials: 4 sheets of paper, stapler 1. Stack 4 sheets of paper so the bottom of each sheet is 1 inch higher than the sheet below it. 2. Fold the sheets down and line up the edges so all layers are the same distance apart. You should have 7 1-inch strips and a big strip on top. 3. When your layers are lined up, crease the paper. Staple at the top near the crease. Fill the book with pictures and your own story. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR Some Friend (2007), Once Upon a Farm (2002), Momma, Where Are You From? (2000).

4 A RIF VOCABULARY SCAFFOLD lantern: old-fashioned light wiggle: to move back and forth like a worm cooper: someone who makes barrels worn-out: tired or old doubt: something you re not sure about midnight: 12:00 AM, the middle of the night slippery: hard to catch, slimy baptize: to dunk in water, to name, or to clean the spirit linger: to spend a long time on crystal: sharp, rock-like object

5 RIF EXTENSION ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATORS COMPARE/CONTRAST More Than Anything Else is a fictional story about Booker T. Washington. Go online to cover.html to read his autobiography, Up From Slavery. Chapter 2 is about Booker s childhood. Read it aloud or print it out for student use. Create a chart to compare the two versions of Booker s life story. Make sure children know the difference between biography and fiction based on biography. NARRATIVE WRITING Pick another character from the story. Retell the story from that character s point of view. Characters to choose from include: mama, papa, brother, little sister, man with newspaper. LAYERED GOALS BOOK Create a layered foldable book for students to record their goals. Stack 4 sheets of paper so the bottom of each sheet is 1 inch higher than the sheet below it. Fold the sheets down and line up the edges so all layers are the same distance apart. You should have 7 1-inch strips and one big strip on top. When your layers are lined up, crease the paper. Staple at the top near the crease. Have students write one goal on each visible strip. Under each flap students can list what inspired the goal or how they plan to accomplish it. CREATIVE WRITING What was it like to be a young boy in 1865? Put yourself in Booker s shoes. Using the Booker-T-Washington-Thought-Bubble.pdf activity, fill in what Booker might be thinking about. Tell when and where the thoughts are taking place.

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