Saturday, April 03, 2010

Book Club: Catwings

For March our book club read Catwings the first volume in one of my favorite series of all time. It was well-received though it's reading level falls into the easier end of our 1st to 3rd grade age range and it is also definitely ne of the shortest books we choose. This works well to use this short of a book when you are trying to meeting more often than once a month.

Book: Catwings by Ursula K. LeGuin

Introduce Yourself
Tell us your name, age, and

Discussion Questions
  1. What would be an advantage to having wings?
  2. What would be a disadvantage to having wings
  3. Why is flying harder for cats than birds?
  4. What do we know about birds that help them to fly? (half of my kids knew about hollow bones)
  5. What is a nocturnal animal? Can you name other nocturnal animals?
  6. Why is it easier to be a stray cat in the city? In the country? (comparison list time!)
  7. Why were the birds scared of the cats?
  8. Do you agree that it's "fair" as the other animals think that someone other than the birds can fly?
  9. What types of hands and shoes were there?
  10. What human behavior would you classify as "good hands"? "bad hands"?
  11. What are ways we can show kindness to animals? Is it always kindness to feed a stray cat?
  12. Do animals love us? How do they show it?
  13. If you could give wings to any other animal, which one would you choose? How do you think the animal would react? (Personally I think my dog, who is quite stupid, would be so surprised, he'd start flying, forget to pump his wings, and fall.)
  14. What does it mean when it says that Owl was not a quick thinker, but he was a long thinker?
  15. Why did Owl atttack James and the other cats?
  16. Why did the cats decide to trust Susan and Hank? How did Susan and Hank show they were trustworthy?
  17. Do you think it was the right decision for Susan and Hank to not tell anyone about the catwings? Why or why not?

We made paper airplanes. I'd pulled several books on how to make paper airplanes (enough books in fact for every child to be looking at a separate book). When I had done this three weeks before with a slightly older group (fourth grade boys), it had worked wonderfully and been incredibly sucessful. The first to third grade group had trouble following the directions in the books independently though most knew how to make some form of a paper airplane. They did not find this as engaging of an activity as the older boys. It was only mildly sucessful.

Tuna Salad on crackers, of course
Goldfish crackers