The Gist —
In the book Weslandia, Wesley is different, and doesn’t have interest in what the other kids around him are doing. Over summer break he starts his own civilization, building a thriving community in his parent’s backyard.
Why I like Weslandia—
The 1-4th grader is going to get the most out of this book. There is some vocabulary in Weslandia that may require some explanation, and although emergent and early readers may love the colorful pictures, the concept of starting a civilization is a little more advanced. The idea of building their own community is one that children love, and most dream about. Fun activities abound after reading Weslandia.
Read Aloud Tips for Weslandia
(read How to Use Book Notes if you are confused)
* You don’t have to do all of these, in fact, don’t do them all. Just pick one or two prompts per read aloud.
* The key to using these prompts is to making them conversational and natural. If you pull out a print out of questions or sound too probing, your child will read right through you. Be casual and they won’t know you are actually increasing their comprehension and growing interest in reading.
Preview – It’s helpful to preview the books you will read aloud so you know when certain parts are coming. Your child can preview the book with you. Flip through the pages and take a picture walk, but don’t read the words yet. Gather ideas about the book and what the book could possibly be about. This shouldn’t take long, maybe one minute for a shorter book and two for a longer book.
Prediction – Have your child make a prediction at either the beginning of the book (using the cover as your engagement) or at the end, when Wesley is about to return to school. You can ask them what they think Weslandia is like, or if they make a prediction at the end, ask them what is going to happen when Wesley goes back to school. They will read on with interest to find out if their prediction is correct. Talk about the differences in their predictions and the book.
Connection – At the end of the story, ask your child to connect this to their life. Model this for them. If it is not a detailed example, encourage the use of specific language. Example: When Wesley felt like he was different in the beginning of the book, how do you think he felt? Was there ever a time when you felt like that?
Visualization – Ask your child to close their eyes and build a picture in their head of the page you are reading. A great page to do this on would be the one where Wesley makes himself a hat and robe.
Again, make these small tasks / questions fun. This is a time to connect with your child and maybe learn something about them that you didn’t know.