Under a Pig Tree: A History of the Noble Fruit by Margie Palatini


This was an interesting read, a mixed up book that made my daughter laugh out loud! Picture book, Under a Pig Tree: A History of the Noble Fruit by Margie Palatini is written as if the publishers made a huge mistake and the author responds via editing notes. According to the authors note in the front of the book, the book was supposed to be about Figs; however, the publishers saw it as about Pigs and created the illustrations in regards to the new subject. Which makes this a very hilarious read aloud. Focusing on the illustrations and making sure to note the editing comments adds to the story tremendously.

In the classroom, I would suggest to use this as a mentor text of the skill Questioning within Writing & Reading. According to the article: Questioning Skills to Engage Students
One of the commonly used questioning techniques is to employ the 5W and 1H questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. While this questioning technique is useful to some extent, most of the 5W questions tend to be close ended and elicit factual responses. Although factual responses are necessary, as good teachers we need to promote higher level thinking skills as well. One way to address this would be to use Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking skills as a guideline to ask questions. The following table gives some examples:
Skill
Sample Prompts
Purpose
Level
Creating
design, construct, plan, produce
combine elements into a new pattern or product
Higher
Evaluating
check, critique, judge, hypothesize, conclude, explain
judge or decide according to a set of criteria
Higher
Analyzing
compare, organize, cite differences, deconstruct
break down or examine information
Higher
Applying
implement, carry out, use, apply, show, solve
apply knowledge to new situations
Lower
Understanding
describe, explain, estimate, predict
understand and interpret meaning
Lower
Remembering
recognize, list, describe, identify, retrieve, name
memorize and recall facts
Lower
One of the goals of teaching is not only to evaluate learning outcomes but also to guide students on their learning process. Hence it is important that, as teachers, we question students’ thinking and learning process. To this end, we could ask students to explain how they arrived at their conclusion answer and in doing so, what sort of resources they had used and whether the resources had provided sufficient evidence etc.

What questions can you come up with to help the students better understand this book? How do we use questioning to help us read a book on our own? Can questioning assist us when we are reading to increase comprehension?

Why not model questioning to better understand this book during a second read aloud. Then have students read a story on their own and write questions that assisted them in understanding the book or questions they could ask to help another reader understand the book better.

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You can read more about my #BookaDay Summer Reading Challenge here and come back to read more of what I have read tomorrow! Until then...

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