Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Name is Not Alexander

We've seen just how big a little girl can dream... now we ask, just how much can a little boy dream?

Fosberry, Jennifer.
My Name is Not Alexander.
March 2011.
Sourcebooks, Incorporated.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

When Alexander is awoken one morning, he suddenly decides he is no longer Alexander. Instead, he makes the day adventurous, through use of his imagination. Throughout the day, Alexander takes on the identity of six various men who left a marked impact at some point throughout history - Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Chief Joseph, Fred Astaire, Jackie Robinson... and of course, we can't leave out Daddy!

Fosberry provides readers with the utmost basic of information - a first name and one simple word or phrase that gives a very broad overview of the role these different men played in history - basic enough that it will allow children to use their "thinking caps" to make inferences (guesses) about what the role they believe these men might have played.

This title could easily be used to get your child/students using their imagination or it could provide the perfect opportunity for a research project! Split your class into groups (or assign each child one of the famous men if you happen to be a homeschooler with just a few children). Once they are split into groups, assign each child one of Alexander's identities. Have children work together to research and then create a report of some sort that showcases the key word that is associated with each. For example, the key word that is used in describing Theodore is president. Encourage children to incorporate that key word into their project in some way! Wish the kiddos I work with were older - this could be a really fun project!!!

Literacy Activity:
  • Share this story in collaboration with My Name is Not Isabella.
  • Have the boys in the class do the research about the men mentioned in My Name is Not Alexander, while the girls research and report about the women mentioned in My Name is Not Isabella.
  • Complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the two different stories. The Venn Diagram can be downloaded here.

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