Rodney can’t sit still in class. His curiosity about the natural world draws his focus to the window to see birds, bugs and dogs. The outside world fascinates him. Being in school does not. His classmates laugh at Rodney when he fools around. His teacher can only sigh with resignation. But when Rodney visits a park during a school field trip, he is finally in a classroom that feels right. The realistic illustrations add movement to the story, inviting us to see an intimate side of Rodney with close-up images. Where’s Rodney? is a story we can all connect with because we all know someone who itching to get outside.
Response to Literature
AASL Standards Framework for Learners:Collaborate/CreateIII.B.2 Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks by establishing connections with other learners to build on their own prior knowledge and create new knowledge.
Invite learners to imagine what school would be like if classes were held outside. What could they learn from the outdoors?
Challenge learners to write a lesson plan for Rodney. The creative constraints are as follows:
The lesson will take place outside.
There is no Internet.
The lesson must contain a learning outcome, a list of materials and a way to assess learning.
Divide learners into collaborative groups. Facilitate the conversation by asking learners to consider what is important to learn in school. How can they learn these skills in nature? Encourage all learners to share their ideas.
Welcome groups to present their lesson ideas when they finish.
Traditional schooling was not a good fit for Ansel Adams. His father pulled him out of school and the let the world be his new classroom. He spent most of his time playing the piano and taking pictures of nature.