Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Author Study - Ezra Jack Keats

In my home, for years now, I have enjoyed author studies.  Our studies are simple.  I hang up a picture of the author of whose books we will be reading.  We either watch a youtube video about their life or if I can find a simple biography, we read that.  Then, we check out as many of those books as we possibly can and read them.  If there is a city where the stories take place, we look that up on the globe/map.  I also try to incorporate an art project if possible in the style of the author.

Today I am focusing on the author Ezra Jack Keats.  We just spent the better part of 2 months reading and rereading his children's books together.  Ezra Jacks Keats is a fascinating man who was a Jew.  He was born in Brooklyn.    He changed his name from Jacob Ezra Katz, a Jewish name, to Ezra Jack Keats, a more American name.  He loved writing children's literature especially about the minorities who grew up in the Bronx.  If you read through his stories, you can see that vividly portrayed.  He was the first to write a children's book where the main character was a little black boy, The Snowy Day.  Incidentally, that book also won a Caldecott Medal.

I loved reading through these books with my littles.  We especially enjoyed the stories which centered around Peter.  Peter is the little boy featured in The Snowy Day.  He is in a total of 7 of his 22 books.  You get to watch Peter grow up through the stories.  Peter is not the only character though.  Other characters include Susie, Amy, Jennie, Roberto, Louie, Archie, Willie (a dog), and the cat (a stray that befriends them).  Overall, these are wonderful stories to read to your little ones.  I actually had kids of many ages glance through them.  The illustrations are very fun to look at and the stories are a pleasure to read aloud.

Here is a list of other free resources about him that you could include in your study, if you so choose.  Or you can be like me, use very little extras, and just snuggle and read.

Embark on the Journey - some fun printables to go along with them.  Some are great additions for learning as well.

Lots of fun stuff can be found here for kids and adults alike - Ezra Jack Keats foundation

A couple of ones just for The Snowy Day:

Homeschool Creations - great place for Montessori style learning

My Joyfilled Life - this looks like loads of fun with lots of ideas

Homeschool Share - a free lapbook, if you enjoy doing them

And last but not least, art projects (we are doing the second one, see our pic later this week on facebook)

Time for Kindergarten has a very fun simple one you could do

Deep Space Sparkle has this cute one as well

Happy Reading with your littles

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