Oh, how I loved this book! I searched for a copy of this out-of-print book and ordered it, and after reliving many deep experiences of learning (about reading and about how the world works) from it, I put it in my class library. And then a few weeks ago I put it in the Book Box of my student Natan.
On Tuesday Natan was among the first to do Book Sharing at our class meeting time, and so we conferred about a good choice. To my great satisfaction, he chose The Big Jump, but not the copy from the classroom library--he loved it so much he had found and bought and brought his own! He chose to read aloud precisely the same passage from "The Wish Sack" that Jon Klassen had mentioned in his speech, and others in the class who have read The Big Jump jumped in to say how easy to read and how exciting this book is.
But that wasn't all. On Tuesday night Natan made another big jump. He arrived at school with a homemade stapled book that also included 3 stories--about Pokemon training. His sense of humor and wide vocabulary made each little story very effective, and of course I acknowledged that. So (with writing time in school currently filled with a research project about nutrition), Natan went home and added a proper cover, a "tabel of contants" and three more stories! On Wednesday morning he tried to GIVE this book to me, so I taught him about dedications and he kept the book, now dedicated to me.
The next big jump came later that morning during our discussion of choosing books responsibly and wisely. I departed a bit from The Big Orange Splot, which turns out to be the perfect book for learning the I PICK model for independent reading, and I extended the concept to self-selected writing projects. I read Natan's Pokemon book to the class as an example--and during the discussion Natan let us know that the idea to make a book with more than one story had come from his repeated readings of The Big Jump.
Suddenly--right on time, really--in one of those aha! waves that happen in classrooms, the Diamond Miners realized that what you read is connected to what you write, and (with Ms. Mordhorst's help) that what you write is probably the most important work you do in school. The houses of The Big Orange Splot are the metaphor and, as Mr. Plumbean says, "My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams."
And they're off, to make books that look like all their dreams! That very day there was a flurry of independent paper folding and stacking and stapling and writing and drawing when center work was completed, and next week I will start replacing some of my Word Work Centers with Self-Selected Writing, so that eventually every child will enjoy two writing sessions every day--one structured, coached Teacher-Selected Writing time and one independent, autonomous choice writing time. And then I will have to establish more sharing opportunities! (And then I will have to get to work on my own Big Jump book with Benjamin Elkin as my mentor.)
I really love Big Jumps. : ) And here's an unexpected bonus video....
The round-up today is with Tricia--I think!--at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Jump on over for some big reading!