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Mem Fox Author Study
Transcript of Mem Fox Author Study
Studied drama in England
Associate Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide where she taught teachers how to teach reading and writing.
Written over 40 childrens books (half best sellers)
Also writes books for adults
Her books have been translated into 19 different languages
Feels very strongly about reading aloud to children
Travels around the world speaking about the importance of reading aloud to children Classroom Application Lesson Ideas Found Elsewhere Websites Supplemental Materials & Cross-Curricular Connections Supplemental Materials: author study
Mallory Dell Mem Fox Why I chose Mem Fox... I first heard about Mem Fox when the 2nd grade class I was placed in began doing an author study on her. The children really enjoyed her books and so did I. I don't know of any other Australian authors so I thought she was intersting. After visiting her website I wanted to learn more about her. Facts about Mem Fox Mem Fox has always loved writing. She wrote a six page book about soil erosion when she was 10 years old and another longer book when she was 17. She realized she wanted to be a writer when she had to write a children's story as an assignment for a children's literature course. What Inspires Mem Fox to Write Mem Fox says she comes up with her ideas for her books from real life, books, and feelings. When her first book was rejected 9 times, her husband was very supportive and encouraged her. Also, many librarians kept telling her to keep going. She says that people were very supportive of her which helped inspire her. Awards Mem Fox has earned many awards including:
•The Dromkeen Medal for distinguished services to children’s literature 1990
•The Alice Award, presented biennially by the Fellowship of Australian Women Writers, 1994
•A Woman of Achievement award from Zonta International, 2002
•The Australian Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal, 2003
•Appointed by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark as one of five Australian ambassadors of Hans Christian Andersen in celebration of the author’s 200th anniversary, 2005
•Children’s Language and Literature Achievement Award from the Speech Pathology Association of Australia, 2007
Honorary Doctorate of Letters from three different univerisites. Advice Mem Fox has a whole page of her website dedicated to giving advice to parents and teachers. She has also written books about how to teach children to read.
Here is some of Mem's advice for reading out loud: Possum Magic Whoever You Are Boo to a Goose Whoever You Are Possum Magic In this book, the characters travel all over Australia in search of a cure for Hush's invisibilty. They taste many different types of food in each of the places they visit. Students could read this book while learning about Australia and pretend to visit each part of Australia with the characters. The teacher can put a large map of Australia at the front of the room and trace their path. As the students "travel" from place to place they will learn about it and try the same foods the characters eat in the book. (recipes on Mem's website). Students could then pick their favorite place and write a story about it. This book is all about equality and embracing diversity. This would be a great book to use when teaching students about accepting others and treating each other equally. Students can talk to their classmates about how they are the same and ways they are unique. They can then write a journal entry about ways they are the same as other children and ways they are unique. They can also write about why treating others equally is important. This could be used as a first day of school activity to introduce students to each other. This is a fun book with a lot of rhyming words in it. This book could be used to help teach students about rhyming words. As they read the book have students pick out the rhyming words. After reading, students can make up their own rhymes about what they would rather do than say "boo" to a goose and then have them share their rhymes with the class. In this lesson students are able to ask questions about the book and illustrations as the teacher reads it to them. The students are then able to talk about the book as they pass around a talking stick. The teacher then asks them personal questions such as "what makes you smile?" and "what is your home like?" The class then makes a list of things that make them all the same and things that make them different. The class then practices comparing and contrasting using a venn diagram, filling it in with things from the list that they made.
Source: http://skinnedkneesstringcheese.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/reading-activity-whoever-you-are/ Teach students about the food chain of animals using "Possum Magic." The main reason Hush's grandmother makes him invisible is to avoid predators. Gather the class together and create an animal food chain diagram. Cut out pictures from magazines and show which animals prey on each other. For example, you could show that a lion might eat a rabbit. Reassure students that this process is needed for survival among animals.
After reading the story with your students, ask them to create a diorama of their favorite scene. Provide students with an old shoe box or small cardboard box to use as the base for their diorama. Allow them to use craft materials to create the characters such as Hush and Grandma Poss. Encourage students to make the possums look like the illustrations in the story using fake fur purchased from the local hobby store. If the students are older, ask them to write a paragraph summary of their scene on the back of their diorama.
Source: http://www.ehow.com/info_8511812_activities-possum-magic.html 1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.
5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.
6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.
7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do. http://www.memfox.com/welcome.html
http://www.webenglishteacher.com/mfox.html Large map of Australia
Australian foods (recipes on Mem Fox's Webiste)
Rhyming words graphic organizer
Cross-Curricular Connections "Boo to a Goose" could be used to teach science by students studying the different animals in the book.
"Possum Magic" can be used to teach social studies unit on Australia. Students can learn about the different places in Australia that the characters visit and the foods that are mentioned in the book from those places. It can also be used to teachstudents about the food chain and predators/prey because of how Hush's grandmother turns her invisible to keep her safe from predators.
"Whoever You Are" can be used to teach social studies (different types of people, customs, traditions, etc. from all over the world. This book can also be tied into math by creating a venn diagram of how students are alike and how they are different.
Bibliography Possum Magic This book is about two possums, Grandma Poss and her granddaughter Hush. Grandma Poss uses her bush magic to make Hush invisible. But when Hush decides she wants to be visible again they have to travel all over Australia searching for the magic food that will make Hush visible again. Whoever You Are This book is all about peace and equality. It celebrates the diversity of the world and how all people are the same in many ways, though they may have many differences. It teaches children that children all over the world laugh, smile, and cry the same way they do. Boo to a Goose This is a fun book for younger children. The child in the book creates a list of things she would rather do than say "Boo" to a goose. Each page has a fun, silly rhyme and a colorful picture on it that capture children's attention. Book Citations Fox, M., & Vivas, J. (1983). Possum magic. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Fox, M., Fox, M., Staub, L., & Staub, L. (1997). Whoever you are. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
Fox, M., & Miller, D. (1998). Boo to a goose. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.