Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It took a thunderbolt

Last week we had really terrible thunderstorms in our area. As the thunder and lightning grew closer together the walls shook more violently. Suddenly the two joined the fire alarm and there was nothing for it but to evacuate with purse, family members and a couple of laptops. It was 2:45 a.m. About an hour and a half later, we carried those items back into our home and attempted sleep. Unfortunately, that left me about half an hour before I needed to get up. As I slogged through my commute, I thought about how scared some of my students would be. It seemed that reading some of my favorite storm books would be in order. My two favorite books about lightning are Thundercake by Patricia Polacco and Dragon is Coming by Valeri Gorbachev

I prefaced the lesson by asking students to raise their hands if they had not slept well the night before. Most of them raised their hands. I plowed ahead naively asking what had kept them up. The answers started out with “the t.v. was too loud”. By the time the answers made it to “my sister/brother was snoring” I had caught on. Only one child had mentioned the storm.

I was not brilliant on that day. I did not move fast nor did I always follow what people were saying to me. I would have been happy to have someone tell me to put my head on the table and take a break. Concentration was not easy. Somehow, though, I began to think of what performing in school would be like for a six year old who didn’t get enough sleep. How easy would it be for a child who regularly doesn’t get enough sleep?

I don’t have any answers, but I do think I woke up that day when I made the electric connection.


Christie Wright Wild said...

Have you read Tangerine? It's a great novel that involves lightning storms! I think it would make a great movie, too.

It's a good thing kindergarteners have nap time. Too bad for the rest of the children in 1st grade and up because they unfortunately do not offer nap time (for those of us that do not get enough sleep at night). At least the school's offer breakfast!

purple glasses club said...


Thanks for your thoughts. I have a copy of Tangerine at home, but it hasn't made it to the top of my "to read" pile yet. Maybe this summer... Suppose I could pair that with "The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors" which I've read about in Writer's Digest.

I smiled when you mentioned naps for kindergarteners. It made me remember my nap rug.

Though our kindergarteners are with us the full day they do not nap. We have a full schedule of learning experiences. Our students are doing in kindergarten today the things we did in first grade when I was a child. Makes me feel all the more reason to be sensitive to their circumstances.