Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Summer In the City by Kathleen Wainwright - Teaching Ideas

Welcome to the Summer in the City Virtual Book Tour!

Click HERE for a complete list of tour dates

Here is a preview of what you will find in the book, Summer in the City.
I am so excited to be apart of this book tour and to offer a glimpse of all the wonderful teaching skills and strategies you can use to teach with this book.

This book is a wonderful memory of what summers used to be like for kids back in the day. It is written in rhyme and takes the (much older) reader back to memories of fun filled summer days. For the younger reader the book is filled with all the things kids love to do: like swim, play at the park, roller skate and bike, play hop-scotch and jump rope and just hang and be with your friends. It is a vivid and vibrant reminder of what it was like to be barefoot and fancy free with a bit of reality that the kids today will have far different memories of their summers than we did of ours.

Along with the book being beautifully written, the illustrations are amazing. I am so drawn to the detail and color and contrast of the faceless children playing in the ever recognizable city. I love how the faceless children give the reader the freedom to imagine it being them, playing and swinging and running and laughing - it draws the reader right into the memory.

This is a definite must have for your library, if not for your students, then for you, to relive those carefree summer days! 

Reading level: 5.7
Theme/subject: friends, memories
Genre: fiction

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder why the water is coming out of the fire hydrant.  {possible questions during} I wonder what jellies were like. I wonder if they went all those places without their parents. {possible questions after} I wonder why they were allowed to do so many things by themselves.   **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – First person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author's purpose - entertain {evidence} The illustrations are so bright and colorful and the story is written in rhyme. The children do so many fun things during the day. All of these things make a very entertaining story.
  • Cause and effect – Why were they waiting for it to be 12 o’clock? Because they could go swimming in the pool. Why did they eat their dinner as fast as they could? So they could come back out and play before the street lights went on. Why were they so sad when the street lights came on? Because it meant it was time to go in.
  • Character analysis – describe the characters, explain why you cannot see their faces.
  • Classify & categorize – What they did in the summer: places they went, things they played, things they ate.
  • Compare & contrast - compare your summer to the character’s summer.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections}  playing in the park. Going to the community pool, riding bikes and roller skating with friends.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why do you think summer was so different back in the day than it is for you today? {text clues} The kids never had parents with them. The kids seemed to go all over by themselves. {what I know} Parents today don’t let their kids go many places without them. Kids today spend more time inside playing video games and watching TV. {my conclusion} I think summer was so different back in the day than it is today because there are too many things to do inside where parents can watch the kids.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} What summer was like back in the day. {details} Playing jacks and double-dutch jump rope. Going to the community pool and playing in the park. Getting ice cream from the ice cream truck and catching fireflies in jelly jars.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when the street lights went on.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is going to be about? What do you think summer was like back in the day?
  • Sequencing – They sat on the porch and played jacks. They played double-dutch on the sidewalk. They played hopscotch. Played in the pool. Went to the park. Slid down the slide and pumped their legs on the swings. Bought water ice, penny candy and pretzels. Played clapping games and shouted out tongue twisters. Played hide-and-seek. Went home to eat dinner. Rode bikes and roller skates and bought vanilla ice cream with rainbow-sprinkles. Played “That’s my car!” and caught lightning bugs. Said good-bye when the street lights went on.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – The characters in the story did so many things throughout the day. If you were there with them, what would have been your favorite thing to do? Why?
  • Theme – Childhood memories of summertime fun. 
  • Visualize – The main character is remembering what her summers used to be like. What will you remember most about your summers as a kid? 

Here are the links to the sites where you can purchase this book
you can even watch a Youtube Video (Book Trailer):

I hope this review has gotten you intrigued and excited enough to enter the giveaway to receive this fabulous book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now here is the author of this amazing book, Kathleen Wainwright.

Kathleen Wainwright is a dedicated teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. She received her bachelor’s of Science degree in education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and her master’s in education with a focus in literacy, from West Chester University, in West Chester, PA. Kathleen also teaches literacy courses to aspiring teachers at Temple University and developmental reading courses to incoming freshman at Delaware County Community College. “This story captures a typical summer’s day for me and my friends growing up in the 80’s! Every time I read it I travel back to some of my favorite childhood memories.” Kathleen recently earned National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts (Early and Middle Childhood). She enjoys sharing her personal teaching experiences and educational resources in her blog, The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher (

Happy Reading!

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