Sunday, June 22, 2014

CCSS K-1 Exemplar Texts

Exemplar Texts K-1.
I've copied the texts here for my own use.  These come straight from Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards document.  I retyped them because I could not cut and paste from the table of contents.  I also switched the list to title and then author because that is how my brain works.  I plan to go through and annotate as I read the texts below.  I have bolded the ones I've read.  My interest in reading the texts is 1) to know the texts potentially being used in my daughter's class and 2) be informed about exemplar texts as they are often cited as developmentally inappropriate and propaganda.

My initial analysis is positive.  I am happy to see authors I know such as Lobel, DePaola, Suess, Eastman, Hoban, Bang, Milne, Hughs, Wilder, Henkes, Aliki, Gibbons, and Crews.  A criticism would be that many of the texts appear to be thirty plus years old as I know they were around during my childhood or before.  A more pressing concern is that if the "Stories" and "Poetry" categories are for independent reading (versus the "Read-Aloud" categories), then the texts presented will be inaccessible for students for most, if not all, of Kindergarten.  Yet, I am glad that the list is comprised of literature and nonfiction rather than phonics readers and old fashion Dick and Jane style readers.  The more I watch my own child learn to read, the more I believe in the power of phonics.  However, I see phonics readers as tools for learning to read; even though completing a phonics readers is a joyous occasion for a child learning to read, it does not replace literature which is the heart of why we learn to read.  As far as propaganda, I see a couple titles that look like they will have a "green" stance, but I believe protecting our environment is common sense and moral, not an agenda. I also feel topics of animals, water cycle, and plant life cycle match science curriculum for this age. 


Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola
Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Analysis:  I love that most of these are classic texts, tried and true, but wouldn't mine a couple additional modern texts.  Also missing: Female characters in equal balance to male.  Race is kinda of mute because so many of the characters were animals.  I felt there was great range from Pancakes for Breakfast which is essentially wordless to the classic first reader Green Eggs and Ham to the more complex chapters of Frog and Toad.  I saw none of the stories contained propaganda in my opinion. 

"As I Was Going to St Ives"
"Mix a Pancake" by Christina Rosseettie
"Singing Time" by Rose Flyeman
"Halfway Down" by A A Milne
"Drinking Fountain" by Marchette Chute
"Poem" by Langston Hughs (had trouble finding this since it pulled up all his poems)
"Wouldn't You?" by John Ciardi
"Laughing Boy" by Richard Wright
"Be Myself" by Elosie Greenfield
"Covers" by Nikki Giovanni
"It Fell in the City" by Eve Merriam
"Celebration" by Alonzo Lopez
"Two Tree Toads" by Jon Agee
Analysis: Again, I see no propaganda.  I liked the mix of gender in authors as well as the inclusion of different races (versus just old white men like Frost or Yeats or something).  The poems ranged in complexity in both the ideas and the writing itself.  These exemplars are for K-1, so I worry that many of them are too difficult for K, but I did see a lot of common sight words.  The topics included humor as well as familiar subjects (water fountain, snow, etc).   

Read-Aloud Stories:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
A Story, A Story by Gail E Haley
The Paper Crane by Molly Bang
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garza (had trouble finding this in a search)
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Read-Aloud Poetry:
"The Fox's Foray"
"Over in the Meadow" by John Langstaff
"The Owl and Pussycat" by Edward Lear
"April Rain Song" by Landston Hughs
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Analysis: "The Fox's Foray" was a bit violent for me, but, at the same time, it was no more so than an accurate nature show.  Of all the poems in the world, why choose one with the word "pussy" featured so prominently?  I would hope that most kids this age wouldn't know its non-feline meaning, but is the quality of this poem really so amazing as to take the risk?  I didn't think so.  Never understood the need to read to the smallest of children text like this that is so far beyond them in vocabulary and so unfamiliar in structure, but if it must be done, I would not choose this one.  The remaining three poems I found completely acceptable.  There are many picture book versions of "Over in the Meadow," and though the Ezra Jack Keats one is my favorite, that is just personal opinion. 

Informational Texts:
A Tree is a Plant by Clyde Robert Bulla
My Five Senses by Aliki
Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd
A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki
Truck by Donald Crews
I Read Signs by Tana Hoban
Ler's Find Out about Ice Cream by Mary Ebeltoft Reid
"Garden Helpers" by National Geographic Young Exlporers
"Wind Power" by National Geographic Young Exlporers

Read-Aloud Informational Texts:
The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen
Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons
Follow the Water from the Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros
Waster, Water Everywhere by Mark Rauzon and Cynthia Overbeck
Earthworms by Claire Llewellyn
What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steven Jenkins and Robin Page
From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
Amazing Whales! by Sarah Thomson
How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins and True Kelley

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