TITLE: EXTRA YARN
Author: Mac Barnett
Word Count: 566-words
Summary: A little girl found a box of yarn and knits sweater for the town – human, animals, objects – until an archduke decided he wants it for himself. But after he gets it, he realizes that he can not use it because it does not work for him, so he threw it away and it found its way back to the little girl and made her happy.
MORAL: not because something works for someone else, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. At least, that was my interpretation of the book.
How to Use This Book in the Classroom:
I recommend this book to all grade levels and integrated across the curriculum for the theme – sharing, happiness, kindness. The illustrations can spark story time for students in Elementary schools. They can tell us what is happening in the story without the use of the text. This is a quick way to assess comprehension.
Middle and High school can use this book to reinforce character building activities. “Would they take the million dollars that was offered by the Archduke? Why?” What would they do with the money? What is more important – money or happiness?
For Math, teachers should bring in yarn and calculate how much yarn would be needed to knit sweaters for every student in the class. It would be appropriate if the teacher ask a parent, grandparent, friend, who knits to visit the class for the day. Let the children asked questions such as “how much yarn is needed to make one sweater?”, from there create math problems. This is perfect to use with fractions, distance, time (how long would it take to knit one sweater?). Social Studies/Science -Talk about the possibility of where this story could take place. Allow them to write and justify the answers. For instance, a student might say it wouldn’t happen in California because it does not snow there. But another student might say it snows in the mountain of California. This sparks conversation and gives the teacher the opportunity to have a “Teachable Moment”. Now we just learned some things about California.