School is out for most of you and I'm sure you've encouraged your students to read, read, read during their summer vacation. I always recommend books on the Texas Lone Star Reading List and other award winning books. This year's Caldecott winners are amazing. They teach life lessons about diversity, emotions, and friendship.
I came across Last Stop on Market Street and immediately fell in love with this sweet book. There are so many lessons to learn in this award winning book by author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Christian Robinson. In fact, it won both Caldecott and Newbery Awards this year.
A little boy named CJ is not happy about riding the bus across town with his grandmother. He wonders why they don't have a car like his friends and questions things he sees while riding on the bus. CJ's grandmother wants him to appreciate the world and people around him. Nana finds the beauty in unexpected places. The author even uses visualization as a passenger plays his guitar and a blind man talks about using his other senses.
I suggest introducing the book by talking about the different ways students get from one place to another. Ask students if they have ever taken a bus or some type of public transportation other than their car?
1. What are some things they notice about taking this type of transportation?
2. Do they study the people traveling? Wonder where they are going?
3. Do they notice things outside?
4. Would they rather ride in a car or enjoy public transportation? Why or Why not?
5. Do they ever get upset because they don't have things that other friends have?
Draw the students' attention to the inside cover. It's filled with pictures that are seen throughout the book. How is this different from other books? Ask the students if they can visualize how these may be used within the book. Hand out the picture cards. Ask the students to listen to the story as it is read. When they hear the word of their picture bring it to the front of the class. The pictures can be displayed on the board or anchor chart.
Tell the children that this book is about a little boy who rides with his grandmother on a bus to the last stop on Market Street. He's not happy because they don't have a car. He notices things that others have and he doesn't. Listen as the book is read to see how the boy changes and begins to appreciate the world and people around him.
1. Discuss the difference between physical traits and character traits. Students will write all of the physical traits of CJ and his nana, then write all of the character traits.
2. Not all traits are written. Students can infer the traits from reading the text. Students can write the quotes of CJ and then write the trait they infer from the reading.
3. Sometimes characters change from the beginning of the book. Students can list the events that may have influenced the ways CJ changed after his nana helped him appreciate the beauty around him.
Creating mental pictures is important for reading comprehension. As students read, they create mental pictures. In the book, a man plays a guitar and people close their eyes. CJ closed his eyes and visualized things he saw while listening to the music. Students have their own unique pictures as they visualize during their reading. They can draw what they visualize from reading the book and compare drawings.
The last stop on Market Street was at a soup kitchen where CJ and nana were going to volunteer. Visit with students about different ways they can volunteer. They may volunteer through their community, church or other organizations. Your students may even come up with ideas for their class to volunteer.
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