Bats on Parade by Kathi Appelt will grab your students right from the start with its big, beautiful, colorful illustrations. The pictures themselves are a great way to jump into visual literacy, as it is important that the reader understands how the author is setting up the story. They can glean from the pics that this town appears to be made up of animals, who are all out to view a parade.
Connect with the readers-who has been to a parade, and what kinds of things will they see there (besides somebody throwing candy at the crowds...that one always comes up, guaranteed). Make a list of possibilities: clowns, bands, majorettes, fire trucks, floats.
Back to the book...reading just the first 5 pages, what do they notice? The book is written in rhyme. If you prepare a list of the rhyming words on a chart ahead of time, they can practice reading them later in the lesson. (I have listed them at the end of this post.)
However, this is really a sneaky math lesson book. All of the bat musicians appear in order:1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, up to 10x10. These pictures are a natural way to have some super number discussions that can usually be started by you with a casual, "What do you notice about this picture? Can you tell me anything else about the number of bats here?" For beginners, anyone noticing that the 3x3=9 page is the same as 3+3+3=9, go ahead and whoop it up and write them on the Batty Parade Numbers chart. This person has just set the connection for you...multiplication is just repeated addition! There may be other discoveries that you can write down in your math journals, such as "The bigger the number you multiply, the bigger the answer will be." That's basic number sense!
For younger students, use some of the neat bat template additions to your math journal and they will be eating it up! Find lots on my "October Ideas" board on Pinterest (link is up on the right).
Happy Reading and Counting!
Till next time, Nancy
Rhyming Words from the text!
eve/sleeve promenade/parade routine/queen seat/street
anticipation/visitation majorette/set twos/shoes line/nine
twenty-five/five section/collection cymbals/timbals
gleaming/streaming reported/retorted then/ten sky/by
bats/hats flair/air stars/bars crew/flew sight/night