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Author/Illustrator Study: Shel Silverstein

By: Lauren Huhta LAE 3413: Literature for Children UCF Fall 2012
by

Lauren Huhta

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Author/Illustrator Study: Shel Silverstein

Lauren Huhta Author/Illustrator Study: Shel Silverstein Biographical Information Sheldon "Shel" Silverstein Born September 25, 1930
Grew up in Logan Square in Chicago, Illnois
Wanted to be professional ballplayer
At age 12, traced Al Capp's works
Attended three colleges
Drafted into Army (Korean War)
Wrote and illustrated adult material
Started publishing children material in 1964
Won Grammy for Where the Sidewalk Ends
Died May 10, 1999 Common childhood issues and concerns Recurring Themes teach children lessons and actually help adults understand children more Everyday childhood frustrations:
Homework
Chores
Behavioral expectations
Authoritative figures
Responsibilities
Selfishness and greediness
Self-acceptance A Light in the Attic "How Not to Dry the Dishes" "Messy Room" "Sarah Cynthia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" Where the Sidewalk Ends "Hurk" "Homework Machine" "Sick" The Giving Tree Humor and sarcasm intertwined with silly rhymes and characters embedded in the various themes of childhood Writing/Artistic Style Writing is brief with short sentences Fluency and rhythm need to grasp the humor and/or sarcasm Nonsense words that rhyme with real words Progressing brief conflicts that build on... Predominately black-and-white Illustrations Pen sketch-like Cartoon Exaggerated features to promote the exaggerated moods of the stories and poems Brings fictional creatures and inanimate objects to life by giving human-like limbs and qualities Books The story builds on as the boy finds creative ways to play with his giraffe. Silverstein uses rhyming words like "rat" and "bat", "cute" and "suit", "rose" and "nose", etc. Each page builds on as the boy puts more things on the giraffe. A Giraffe and A Half Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? This creative children's story involves the many reasons why a rhinoceros is useful as a companion. Silverstein writes one sentence per page with large black-and-white sketch-like illustrations to support the text. Whether useful or not, the rhinoceros is a good companion and surely a creature easy to love. A Light in the Attic The Giving Tree This story is a classic and memorable one. It tells the story about a young boy and tree that grow up together. As the years progress, the tree continues to give to the boy. Eventually, the tree becomes nothing, but a stump and the boy is an old man. All 169 pages are filled with short poems supported by the black-and-white sketch-like illustrations with exaggerated features and emotions. The poems vary in topics to thinking, using imagination, chores, homework, and self-acceptance. All 183 pages are loaded with short poems once again supported by the black-and-white sketch-like illustrations. The poems vary in topics to attending parties and appointments, making things, imaginative creatures, being sick, the dirtiest man in the world, and everything in between. At the end of the book, Shel Silverstein leaves readers with an interesting quote, "The pen is almost out of ink, but I have enough... I think." Where the Sidewalk Ends Websites http://www.shelsilverstein.com/indexsite.html Websites Official Site for Kids For Teachers and Librarians http://www.shelsilverstein.com/html/teacher.html SC.1.L.14.1: Make observations of living things and their environment using five senses
SC.4.L.17.4: Recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment Cross-Curricular Activities Students may relate to the story by recalling events to come up with ways trees are useful to people and the environment. In honor of The Giving Tree, the students can plant a class tree on the school grounds. Thus, this can introduce a science lesson in regards how plants and animals/humans react to the environment by making observations. MACC.K.OA.1.1: Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawing, sounds, acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations Counting the number of ways the rhinoceros is useful is an excellent way to practice counting and addition. Every page has a reason why the rhinoceros is useful or not useful. Therefore, students must pay attention to the details in the story in order to count properly. There are about 23 useful reasons in the story. ELL/LEP Modifications The “Shel’s Books” portion of the Shel Silverstein website is beneficial to ELL/LEP student learning. This portion of the website is beneficial to ELL/LEP students because it reads the stories and poems with the words on the screen. ELL/LEP students may follow along with the audio recording to hear the correct pronunciation of the English words. The moving illustrations with the progression of the plots may provide contextual clues for the ELL/LEP students. For reading aloud stories like A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, and The Giving Tree, ELL/LEP students may benefit from choral reading activities. After the teacher(s) have read the words on the page, the teacher(s) should encourage the students to repeat after the teacher(s). This also provides ELL/LEP students the opportunities to listen and speak with other students in the class for support.
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