Last week I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss to a grade 6 class and two grade 5/6 classes. I had only met the students a couple of times before. I had a purpose in reading it, although pure enjoyment would be purpose enough.
I love watching the reaction of older kids when I pull out a picture book. In my own classes, reading picture books is the norm – no matter the grade. With other classes though, the range of reactions are interesting to watch. There are those who get truly excited. There are those who are seemingly indifferent. There are those who shift nervously in their spots. And, there are those who think they’re too old for a picture book and try to mask a little eye roll.
As I begin reading, I continue to watch their reactions. A few pages in, I know I have ’em: even those whose tendencies were the eye roll. Kids love hearing a good story. They may not necessarily admit it, but their change in demeanour is evidence enough for me: their eye contact with both me and the book, their stillness, their smiles.
“And what happened then …?
Well … in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!”