Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Lemonade War

Over the past month, students at Sexton Mountain have been reading The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davis at home and in their classrooms. Before books went home to families, I took my copy home and read it one blustery Sunday afternoon and thought about how I was going to approach the book with my students.

The books that Sexton Mountain selects are always so rich and full of great life lessons, but sometimes they are challenging to differentiate for children impacted by Autism, particularly for the young age of my students. We always do our best, and find ways to be involved with the literacy rich community at our school. This year though, myself and my assistants were quickly buzzing with ideas.

The Lemonade War features a brother and sister that get involved in a competition to raise the most money from lemonade stands. The brother, Evan, has great people skills, but struggles with math concepts. The sister, Jessie, is great with math, but as hard as she tries, struggles with social skills...some teachers and students even wonder if she is impacted by Asperger's Syndrome.

Here in the SRC, we have math lessons and friendship lessons throughout our day, every day, so this was a natural book for us to study. I broke the 14 chapter book down into 7 sections, and we spent a few days on each of the sections:

1. Evan and Jessie are brother and sister- Who is your brother or sister? What do you do with him/her? What do you do with your friends?

2. Evan and Jessie get in a fight-Bad friends vs. Good friends. We learned about qualities of each.

3. Lemonade Stands-Let's BUY lemonade. If you give the right amount of money, you get lemonade! We practiced counting money.

4. Contest-Evan and Jessie wanted to see who could raise the most money. We compared quantities and determined more and less.

5. Jessie was a bad friend- Jessie put bugs in Evan's lemonade! Yuck! We discussed things that were yucky. This was a fun topic! We also talked again about qualities of a bad friend.

6. Evan was a bad friend-Evan stole Jessie's money! Oh no! We compared and contrasted qualities of being a good friend and a bad friend.

7. Evan and Jessie apologize-When we make friends sad, we need to apologize. We talked about how to apologize to friends, and how apologizing makes friends happy. We then practiced!

In addition to these specific lessons about The Lemonade War, we practiced counting lemons and buying lemonade in math, drinking lemonade at snack and set up a pretend lemonade stand in free choice choice so we could buy and sell lemonade!

This has been such a fun unit for our students, and I am excited to see our kids talking with their Sexton Mountain peers tomorrow night at literacy night about the book we ALL read! Today I did my post test about the lemonade war in large group. I was so pleased to hear that with minimal prompting, our students were able to retell the story, and give details about the characters, friendship and math. Way to go!