Book Conversation

After reading the last page, I closed the book, “Houndsley and Catina,” and eased back in my chair.

My students and I sat quietly with the ending for a moment or two. Then I asked, “So, what did Catina and/or Houndsley learn? Do you think there was a lesson in this book?”

A hubbub of conversation erupted as kids started sharing their ideas.

“Friendship!” a couple of voices called out.

“Yeah, you don’t have to win a competition, you need to have friends,” someone said. Many students nodded in agreement. There was an enthusiastic chatter of like-minded comments.

One student sat quietly with his hand up, clearly waiting to contribute to the conversation. I called on him. “Well,” he said, slowly, “I actually learned a lesson from this book. I’ve been trying to get world records for a couple of years now. But from this book, I realized that you don’t have to have a world record or be famous to be cool.”

“How do you feel about that?” I asked him.

He hesitated, then responded, “I’m not sure.”

“Well, I also learned from this book,” C. announced with a grin. “I’ve always wanted to be famous, too, and…”he paused dramatically “…I’m still going for my goals!” he ended with a flourish. Then he added in a quieter aside, ” I also learned that friendship matters.”

“Friendship matters most!” V. chimed in.

“Yeah,” M. shook her head enthusiastically.

As we rounded up our discussion, mostly along the lines of the importance of friendship, C. raised her voice to share her idea, “I think what matters most isn’t what others think of you, but what you think about you.”

It was a pretty nice book discussion to round out the day in our second grade classroom.

13 thoughts on “Book Conversation

  1. What a wonderful book discussion! You have clearly cultivated an inquisitive and reflective classroom community; I love their willingness to share their insights. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many takeaways! These moments are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s the power of read-alouds. They give students the opportunity to make many connections. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Debbie Lynn says:

    What an endearing story about your students’ responses to this book. The book is now on my ‘to read’ list. Merry Christmas! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s a short, sweet beginning chapter book. The series is new-to-me since I haven’t taught this age for quite a while. I’m having fun discovering series that were written while I was busy teaching fourth grade!


  5. OMG! These kids are inspired! Good teachers do that! Congrats and happy holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terje says:

    It’s wonderful that you captured this end-of-a-book discussion. Quite often the wonderful thoughts vanish after they are spoken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Yes! So often I think I’ll remember something and then I can’t …or I miss the wonderful phrasing. I actually had a moment and quickly jotted down a few key phrases this time.


  7. maryleehahn says:

    Lucky kids, to have a teacher who reads aloud rich texts, who encourages conversation, who LISTENS.

    Liked by 1 person

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