As we are preparing to write persuasive essays about our favorite Mem Fox book and character, the children decided on their favorite book today. On an index card they wrote and drew a picture on one side of the card identifying their favorite Mem Fox book, and then wrote one reason why the book is their favorite on the back. We had to move the children from reasons such as "I liked Guess Who? because it's about a witch and my birthday is in October" to deeper more meaningful reasons! It's not easy, but as we discuss using the text as evidence for our reasons, the children move closer to reasons that make a difference.
I think this may be the first year that Feathers and Fools has been a class favorite. It's a dark story about peacocks and swans that fear their differences and end up killing each other. Peace seems forever lost. Then two little eggs hatch, one swan and one peacock, who have no memory or experience and walk away as friends. The kids just seemed to "get" this book. Think we'll revisit it again before we write about favorites to see if we can draw out even more of the deeper meaning.