Friday, July 8, 2011

Cinderella Stories

It's happened.  Hadley's become obsessed with princesses.  I'm not completely surprised that she's stepped into this world.  I haven't tried to hide the princesses from her.  I myself am a bit of a sucker for those dresses.  I may or may not have had a life dream of wanting to be Scarlet O'Hara (I know she wasn't a princess but you get the idea).

So Hadley and I are doing a little Cinderella study.  We went to the library and checked out as many
versions of the Cinderella story that I could find.  The thing I like about reading with my kids is that it gives me a chance to study what it is that interests them.  I get an understanding of why Hadley loves princesses so much, or why Harper is fascinated by dinosaurs.  And, well, Diego.  But that's another post.
Here's what we did: I created a little worksheet for Hadley that had questions like, "What do you remember about this story?" Or, "What did you like about this Cinderella story?"  "If you could change one thing what would it be?"  I wrote down the responses as Hadley talked.  I also had Hadley draw a picture of something she remembered from the story, as well as practice writing the title down.

We looked at the story Cinder Edna first and I noticed Hadley had a hard time copying the letters down (they were in script).  When we lookedat another Cinderella story, Hadley breezed through copying the letters down and said, "Whew!  I'm real glad these these letters aren't pretty."  It took me a second to figure out what she meant, but I figured out it was easier for her to copy block lettering.  This seems significant in our study of Cinderella in that not everything that is beautiful is actually appreciated or functional.  Just a thought.

This is my favorite picture of Hadley's from our study:
A castle, a carriage, and a "path to get to the castle."

When we were discussing the different stories, I liked that Hadley said things like, "I remember that Cinderedna learned to play the accordion," in Cinderedna.  Or, "I didn't like the prince's hair" in the Cinderella that happened to be the Caldecott winner.  I'm glad I kept my mouth shut because it was fun to remember why I liked this story so much as well.  The gowns, the fairy godmother, the balls, the pumpkin turning into a carriage.  I think the idea that anything is possible is what's so appealing in this story. 

So that's why I don't react much to the stepsisters' cruelty, or the fact that Cinderella's father doesn't do much to help his daughter out.  If Hadley wants to discuss these points, that's fine, but I like exploring this story through her eyes.  There's time for these sorts of discussions later.

For right now, we'll focus on tiaras and glass slippers, and all things sparkly.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Story By Hadley

Last week Hadley made up a story using a twist tie as a main character.  You know, those twisty things you use to tie garbage bags or bags of chips with?  She twirled it around her finger and apparently this inspired her to come up with a story about a spring who saved a squirrel.

I thought the story was pretty clever so I wrote it down as she said it.  She used words like "bobbed" and "rustling" and I couldn't help but be proud. 

I wanted to make this story into a book, but the last time I tried this it didn't go too well.  I think Hadley got overwhelmed with all the writing and lost interest.  So instead of having her rewrite her own words, I typed up the sentences twice, taped one copy on a baggy, then cut up parts of the second copy for Hadley to put together.

She put her words in order, then glued them onto pages I made for her.

Then she illustrated her story.

Here's the story: The Spring Who Save the Baby Squirrel that was Stuck in the Mug of Hot Coffee
by Hadley

One day I heard an annoying rustling sound.  It was a squirrel that was stuck in a mug of hot coffee.
So I bobbed along the path to save the baby squirrel.
The baby squirrel was by a cat-o. A cat-o is the Spanish word for cap.*
After I saved the squirrel I bobbed along the path to tell my mommy and daddy all about my adventure.
The End.

(*Hadley's likes to make up a words and say "That's Spanish for.....")