Sunday, July 25, 2010


While working on my Master's, I learned a great comprehension organizer to teach main idea, one of the most difficult skills for first-graders. Since school starts in nine days, I need to get back into practice and try it myself. We call it Somebody Wanted But So, and most stories can be organized this way. In A New Name (Hill, GL, 1926):

Somebody- Murray
Wanted- to get out of town because he thought he'd overheard the nurse say Bessie was gone,
But- some kind people having a church dinner mistook him for a Christian Endeavor worker
So- he stayed there and faked them out.
Like many of Mrs. Hill's stories there are happy "coincidences" and connections that solve the problem.

Bessie's quiet family life is tempting to the Van Rensselaer men. One evening, Mrs. Chapparelle fixes pancakes with maple syrup for dinner while Mr. Van R watches out his window. (Again, life was different then- this wasn't considered stalking :) Murray remembered a childhood dinner where potatoes (with no butter) and cornbread were served.

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