Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Orange

written by Rebecca Rissman
2012 (Heinemann/Raintree)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Playing by the Book

Let's go to the park to play out in the sun.
Bring your orange basketball. Shooting hoops is fun!

At the beginning of each school year, our kindergarten students are learning how to recognize and write the names of colors. To support them, staff members wear the designated color for the day. With my graying red hair, I'm quite a sight in an orange shirt. Let's face it, at my age I'm quite a sight in many other shirts but let's not digress too far.

Heinemann/Raintree published a series of books last year called Colors All Around Us. Using rhyming text and brilliantly colored photographs, children are asked to think about where they could locate these colors in their world. Below is a sample from Red:

Before I read Orange to my preschool or kindergarten class, I would make a circle map and ask them to list items that they know are orange. As we read the book, we can check off items already listed or add items. Some of the objects in this book include the sun, a basketball, a butterfly, and flowers. Then, after finishing the reading, we can see if we can add any other items. With the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyming (with one exception that I will note later), you can use this text for a shared reading experience and have students say the last word in the fourth line. After a couple of readings, I also noticed that there are several sound words (flutter, slurp, yum) in this book so you could teach a lesson on onomatopoeia.

I think this series is a good one to share with preschool and kindergarten classes. It's a fun way to talk about colors and connect them with items in our world. I do have two tiny things to point out however. Good and food do not rhyme. I've seen this before in a different text. I would have used mood to rhyme with food instead. My second point, which is highly subjective on my part, is that one item that almost all kids recognize is missing from Orange. My favorite orange item, other than the fruit, is a dish of macaroni and cheese. I know we are trying to be health conscious, and I applaud that, but can we show a little love for mac and cheese?

Despite my extreme nitpicking, Orange would be a vibrant nonfiction addition to a preschool or kindergarten library. Now if you really want to take this to the extreme, show the photo below to your children on Orange Day. It is TNT pro basketball reporter Craig Sager in one of his resplendent suits. The photo is courtesy of the aptly named Tumblr site Craig Sager's Suits.


  1. I love the fact that you wear the colour of the day to work when teaching the colours! What fun :-) You could do it with socks too.

  2. Love it. Orange was my baby's, who is now 21, favorite color.


  3. This looks great- especially since my children, like other Japanese children, think the sun is red. I would love to challenge them!


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