The Important Book is a deceptively simple exercise--taking familiar things like an apple, spoon, or shoe, and finding the most basic association with those things. The most important thing about an apple? It is round. A spoon? You eat with it. A shoe? You put your foot in it. But why, according to Brown, is the most important thing about grass "that it is green," while the most important thing about an apple is "that it is round"? Why is "that it is white" the most important thing about snow and a daisy? Whether or not you'd distill these things in the same way that the author does, Brown makes us think about the essence of everyday entities in new ways. The illustrations, by Caldecott Medal winner Leonard Weisgard ( The Little Island ), perform the same function--capturing the spoonness of spoons, the roundness of an apple, the motion of wind.
~Review from Amazon
Use this book when teaching Organization. The systematic organized approach in this book assists early writers in establishing format. The pattern-book nature of this book invites you to introduce this at any time during many facets of your curriculum. Ideas for you to use this patterning style with your students are below. You might offer one of these prompts:
1. The important thing about me is __________.
2. The important thing about the environment is ___________.
3. The important thing about ecosystems is ______________.
4. The important thing about the planets is ______________.
5. The important thing about the rain forest is ____________.
6. The important thing about the president is _____________.
7. The important thing about the congress is _____________.
8. The important thing about the Supreme Court is ____________.
9. The important thing about land forms is ________________.
10. The important thing about bodies of water is __________.
11. The important thing about the 50 states is ___________.
12. The important thing about equations is ___________.
13. The important thing about fractions is ____________.
14. The important thing about multiplication is _________.
So you might have your students each take an aspect of the rain forest, and write about that aspect. This is how:
After you read the book: "The Important Book"
1. Whole class: Brainstorm all of the important things about the rain forest.
2. Let students choose, or assign one important thing to each student.
3. Each student writes a page or section, outlining the most important thing about that piece of the rain forest.
4. Create a class book on the "The Important things about the Rain Forest"
OR, create a podcast, webpage, PowerPoint presentation, etc. on the same topic.
More Pattern Ideas
I like to use The Important Book to boost self-esteem in my students. I also use it to teach about patterns in text. My students love when they hear or read the positive comments other students have made about them.
SET UP AND PREPARE