Friday, February 27, 2009

Attack Of the Giant Foods on Foodie Friday

Something about food falling from the sky or appearing in giant size appeals to the imagination and hunger in all of us. Kids especially love stories with enchanted foods. Think Willy Wonka or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Because of this, they inspire great writing from kids. Two that I think pair nicely for a writing lesson are Tomie de Paola's Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato and Robert Weinstock's Giant Meatball. In de Paola's story, a retelling of an Irish folktale, Jamie O'Rourke "tricks" a leprechaun into giving him a magic pratie (potato) seed which grows into the largest potato ever. It uproots his home and blocks traffic. The focus here is on plot and how the O'Rourkes and their neighbors deal with the situation. Giant Meatball is more about wordplay and language. A very large and very self absorbed meatball rolls through a "snoozy little town" creating all sorts of problems until he gets his comeuppance in the end. It's a fun story for little children but worth reading with students as old as fourth or fifth grade to examine Weinstock's word choices. His diction is kitchen-inspired. The librarian "stews" and the town marmalade maker "boils" at all the noise and trouble caused by the meatball. The mayor suggests that they ask him to be "a dash" more considerate and everything will be "peachy." This would be a great launching point for a lesson on word choice. What are some sports verbs, musical adjectives, or weather related words? Now use them in a poem. It might also inspire some imaginative essay and story writing. What giant food would you want to show up on your doorstep? Personally, I'd adore a massive, house sized doughnut in my driveway, but not powdered. I despise dusting!

1 comment:

Ginny Marie said...

One of my favorite books at the doctor's office when I was a kid was The Giant Jam Sandwich. You're right about kids loving those kind of food stories!