Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April Grades 1-2 Book Club: Clementine

For April's Book Club, we read Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. Abigail, Cameron, Chase, Colten, Matthew, Novi, Reis, Teddy, and Trent were present. Here's some of what we discussed, based on the publisher's website.

Clementine begins her personal narrative with, “I have had not so good of a week.” (page 1) The rest of the book is certainly proof of that. What was your worst week in recent memory? 

-When I went to the Principal's office
-I never had a worst week
-I had a worst day when, in the morning, I had nothing to do. Then I got told on for just sitting on the Buddy Bench. And then my teacher yelled at me. And then I didn't get what I wanted for lunch. Then I had to sit on the Buddy Bench again. Then I got yelled at again. No one wanted to play with me. And then I got hit by a cone.
-I was sick for 3 days and then I had to stay home for 4 days

Clementine says, “If they had a special class for gifted kids in art, I would definitely be in it.” (page 10) She tells her mother, who is an artist, “When I grow up, I might be an artist.” If there could be a gifted class for one of your special talents or interests, what would it be? 

-Tap dancing/moving your feet a bazillion time fast
-Gymnastics and soccer and baseball and golf and football and skiing
-Soccer and baseball
-Ice skating and soccer
-Eating candy

Even in the first chapter, you’ll notice many differences between the personalities of fourth grader Margaret and third grader Clementine. Compare and contrast them. Which one is more like you and why?

-Clementine because she cuts all of Margaret's hair off and I would do that
-I cut my own hair so I'm more like Clementine
-A mix of both
-More like Margaret because I don't usually get in trouble
-More like Margaret because I don't like getting my hair cut
-Margaret looked like a weirdo with her hair really short

When she was little, Clementine tells us, she used to be afraid of ceiling snakes “just waiting to drip on you.” Now she says she’s only afraid of pointy things and boomerangs. (page 11) What weird things are you afraid of and why?  How have you dealt with, conquered, or overcome one of your fears?

-I'm scared of nothing because why would I be?
-I like to scare myself so every time I could, I would pick up anything like a snake to scare myself
-Cheese and bananas
-Poison and pink
-I'm scared of things that are hanging
-Black mambas
-Any kind of mold because I can't breathe around it 
-I'm also scared of books on shelves

What are some of the vegetable names Clementine uses for her brother? What interesting names or nicknames have you given to family, friends, pets, or toys like stuffed animals?  How did you come up with these names? 

Draw a picture of the important people, pets, and things in your life, labeled with the names you use for them. 

Clementine says, “Last year a writer came to my school and said, Pay Attention! But she didn’t mean to the teacher, she meant pay attention to what’s going on around you, so you can write about it. Then she looked exactly at me and said to notice the good stuff and write it down so you don’t forget it.” (page 41) If you’re going to be an artist or a writer, you need to pay attention to what you see. What interesting things have you noticed lately? Make an illustrated poster with a list. 

Clementine says, “Thursday morning I woke up with a spectacularful idea. I am lucky that way—spectacularful ideas are always sproinging up in my brain. The secret thing I know about ideas is that once they sproing into your head you have to grab them fast, or else they get bored and bounce away.” (page 65) What spectacularful ideas have sproinged up in your brain lately? What did you do with them and how did they work out? 

In one week, Clementine cuts off Margaret’s hair, colors it with red Magic Marker, and tries to glue her own cut-off hair onto Margaret’s head. What do you think is going on between Clementine and Margaret? Consider both their points of view. When you are angry, sometimes it helps to write down exactly how you are feeling. 

Clementine says, “Here is a secret good thing: Sometimes I like journal writing at school because I can remind myself of the things I might forget when I’m a grown-up. Like that I plan to smoke cigars. And I do not plan to get married. . . . What if I forget those things?” (page 93)  Make a list of the things you don’t want to forget when you are a grown-up. 

How and why do Clementine and Margaret apologize to each other? What kinds of apology have you offered to someone recently? Why did you need to apologize? How was your apology received? 

What would you put on a hat to give to Clementine? Describe each item you would put on it and why. 

Clementine cleans out everything from under her bed, which she calls “The Black Hole.” (pages 123) What’s under your bed? (Or in your closet or in your desk?) Clean it out and make a list of everything you find. 

We see this story of Clementine’s “not so good of a week” from her point of view. What about Margaret? How do you think she feels about everything that has happened with Clementine all week? 

Please rate this book, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best.


For May's book club, we will be reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.

Mrs. Piggle-wiggle, the widow of a pirate, has a remarkable way of handling children. She manages to cure a persistent never-want-to-go-to-bedder, an answer-backer, and a slow-eater-tiny-bite-taker.
We will meet on Monday, May 8 at 4:00 p.m. Please note the later date and time than usual!

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