Delving Into Literature

29 Oct

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore” is an absolutely fantastic book! The boys and I read it last week and loved it. It’s one of the picture books that is better appreciated by an older audience than a younger one. The literal story would leave young children thinking, “Well that was odd”, but an older audience is more adept is digging below the surface to locate the treasures of this book.

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Brilliantly I planned to read this book for our weekly literary discussion and analysis. Okay, truthfully, it had just arrived in the mail and it seemed as good as any a choice at the time. A pretty wonderful choice in hindsight though.

Have I ever mentioned how much I also love “Teaching the Classics” by Andrew Adams?! “Teaching the Classics” has taught us how to find the riches in stories. The program advises that you select pictures books for your first analysis experiences. Through great picture books my boys are learning to identify the different elements of a story’s plot, guided by the Socratic questions. I enjoy chatting about books so I’m ecstatic to be mentoring my own little book club of men.

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“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore” was a book that we thoroughly enjoyed discussing. There was so much to explore and lots to discover. I’m not going to tell you too much about the book as it would just spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that it’s all about books and reading.

There’s also a short animation of the book which I highly recommend. You can purchase the animation on itunes for only a couple of dollars. Read the book first though and then watch the animation, as always of course.

Now that we’ve tasted the delicacies of real story comprehension, there’ll be no boring comprehension worksheets or torturous book reports allowed into this home. Imagine what one of those tasks would have done to the love of a delightful book like “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore”. I shudder to think. Purge your house of all these horrors right now and if you happen to uncover a charming book in your hunt, take the time to snuggle up with your own little book club and delight in the best kind of treasure hunt.

Counting down the sleeps until our next great book find…



Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Language


4 responses to “Delving Into Literature

  1. Shelley

    October 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    From what age would you recommend using “Teaching the Classics”?

  2. Tracey

    October 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I think you could start it from the 8 onwards. At least that’s what we have done.

    The program itself isn’t a curriculum as much as a teacher training program. It shows us how to discuss literature with our children and it encourages us to start simple with picture books.

    When we started we would just look at isolated elements, like finding the climax or discussing the characters and setting, until we had enough experience to put it all together into a complete story chart. My eldest has just started filling in a written story chart.

    Now, when we read novels I’ll slowly start discussing single elements with them until we can do the same thing with novels.

  3. Heidi Wilson

    November 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    How do we get our hands on a copy of “Teaching the Classics”? And how much does it cost??

  4. Tracey

    November 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Adnil Press sells it. It’s pricey though at around the $100 mark but the skills are invaluable. Much cheaper than buying all of those literature guides for each book or stacks of comprehension books over the years.
    Adnil Press is currently closed while they relocate though.


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