|Common Core and Comics: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith|
|Common Core - Primary|
|Written by Jay Peteranetz|
|Monday, 08 October 2012 18:22|
Little Mouse Gets Ready is about a small mouse putting on people clothes to go to the barn. Simple sentences, repetitive action, and image-to-text relationships make it ideal for an early reader. In this story, Little Mouse carefully puts on underwear, pants, socks, shoes and a button-down shirt. But when Mama tells him, “(m)ice don’t wear clothes," he quickly sheds them all and runs off to the barn. Each page in this book is a maximum of two panels, and that only occurs when Mouse is repeating the same action or finishing an action. The young reader is able to visually complete an action before turning the page. The subject matter, a young mouse putting on clothes, also teaches young readers how to properly dress themselves.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) this book addresses are:
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
The students can discuss the main topic and details within the text by describing how Little Mouse gets dressed and goes to the barn.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS 3 can be met if the students can identify Little Mouse and Mama as different individuals and engage heightened language with the characters. A brief classroom discussion may help student realize that the two events are Little Mouse getting dressed and then jumping out of his clothes to run to the barn.
6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
The Kindergarten reading standards state: "With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story." CCSS 6 can be met if students can identify that the author/illustrator is Jeff Smith and his roles for the book encompass both author and illustrator.
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficient
This book also allows students to read aloud therefore discussing the meaning of the text and reasoning for the images that go along with them.
(Please visit http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf for the ELA standards)
This book allows students to practice their foundational reading skills. The word balloons are placed top-to-bottom left-to-right in reading order, and the text within the word balloons is similar. With only three exceptions, each word balloon is only a single sentence, making it very easy for a learning reader to separate sentences. This technique is unique to the sequential art medium at this grade level. Illustrated kindergarten level books put all the text on the page in the same block, making it difficult, especially for early readers, to understand sentence breaks and to understand dialog as separate from description. The paneling requires the least amount of closure because the author finishes an action on each page. There is only one scene, Little Mouse getting dressed, so students don’t have to identify a new place, describe the imagery, talk about what the author/illustrator did, and so on. It is a well thought out, simple book for the earliest of readers.
Toon-Books has a series of excellent level-appropriate sequential art books for new readers. Little Mouse Gets Ready and Silly Lilly by Agnes Rosensthiel, and Jack in the Box by Art Spiegelman are available at the website toon-books.com. These books can be read aloud on professorgarfield.org.