Sunday, March 6, 2011
A Deeper Meaning - A Stronger Connection
Shortly after lunch, I grabbed a book to use in my reader's workshop lesson. I wanted to look closely at character, and how their feelings, the setting, and other characters affect a character's actions. I chose the book, City Dog, Country Frog. I began reading the story, encouraging my students to write down their thinking about how the characters were acting and why. With every page I turned, I realized that this short story dealt with a whole lot more than just a character's actions. I began seeing my Grandpa, and feeling that ping of sadness. I finished the book, and we wrote down the things that related to our lesson topic. As we wrapped up our class chart, I picked up the book. Flipping through the pages, I asked my students if they could think of anything that this book would make me think about today. Immediately Jacob's hand shot up, and he grinned when I called on him.
"This story made you think about your Grandpa. I think that when the frog left, he is like your Grandpa dying. I think you are the dog left behind waiting for him," he explained.
Through tears, I smiled down at Jacob. "That's exactly what I was thinking, Jacob!" I agreed. "I feel like City Dog," brushing away the tears I shared, "and I feel like I am in Winter like the dog. I'm waiting for my Grandpa to return to me, so I can play with him again. But when I turn the page, I see that Spring comes again for the dog. When the dog smiles his "froggy smile" at Country Chipmunk and says, 'But you'll do!', I realized that even though my Grandpa is gone I can still take parts of him with me for the rest of my life."
Closing the book, I dismissed the kids to go and look at the characters in their own books. When I looked up, I noticed John standing in front of me. He had the collar of his shirt pulled up to the corners of his eyes. "Mrs. Rohrer, that story made me think about my Grandma," he said looking down at the ground.
"John, I'm so sorry," I tried to comfort him.
"Yeah, but she's in a better place. She's in Heaven, and she doesn't have any pain anymore," he continued stretching his collar back around his face.
"John, she's with my Grandpa. She's with my Grandpa!" I repeated, "Can I give you a hug, John?"
As he nodded, I pulled him into a hug that I will never forget. Not only will I always remember John, and his connection to my own sadness. But I'll never forget how this book helped me heal, and see beyond my own hurt. I still have my Grandpa with me, whenever I follow his example of how to live life.
Posted by Michelle at 3:15 PM