SOLSC: March 7, 2016 & #IMWAYR: Imagine a…

When I was at The Book Loft in Columbus, Ohio, my good friend Lori Carter spied this book:


I remember setting the book on a table and poring over the brilliant illustrations and the poetic text:

imagine 2

Lori bought the store’s only copy, but I knew right away that I needed to buy this book for my classroom library.  Imagine my delight when I found out that the book I had seen was part of a  series, which I had to order right away.

I can see sharing these books as read alouds first, and lingering over the illustrations so that my students can see the way the initial drawings transform into something entirely unexpected and wonderful, even as the text begins with an imagining and transforms it into something entirely new:

Imagine a world…

…where each word,

each thought,

each turn of a page in a book

is the beginning of a bigger idea.

I think this “Imagine if..” could be a wonderful idea for a writing prompt, especially at the beginning of the school year when students are often struggling for notebook ideas.

gonsalves series

Yesterday, Imagine A Night arrived and I savored its pages, carefully.  They took me back to last summer, and our first night at the farm.  We sat on the front steps with our dog Sophie, watching the stars and taking in the quiet.  The Washington County quiet, when we can hear every leaf rustle, and even (at times) the stars twinkle.   From somewhere in the woods we heard the hoot of an owl,  the rush of water in the creek below, and the ripple of waves of cornstalks swaying.  So many lovely, quiet sounds we’d never heard before…and have been imagining ever since.

bedlam at night

Photograph by Jon Katz




27 thoughts on “SOLSC: March 7, 2016 & #IMWAYR: Imagine a…

  1. Imagine making room for imagination in densely packed curriculum. Imagine a world, a place, a day, a night…wow! I use the word “imagine” to transition students from the question lead/hook in essays to something that is more engaging. This could help with that, but more than that this can give a space to imagine. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The ripple of waves of cornstalks swaying” such a beautiful line Tara. I miss the farm when I read this. I really enjoyed our verandah drinks and debriefs each day. I may need to check out those books too. 🙂

  3. These look like beautiful books. And I love the description of your first night at the farm. It makes me want to jump in the car and drive right to mine, just so I can write about it!

  4. What a wonderful series! These are beautiful books to read at the beginning of the school year and ask students to imagine how they want classroom to be and what they want to learn. Can’t wait to read them.

  5. Those few words spark a flood of thoughts and writing is born. Those books look amazing! That Lori has an eye for a treasure. I enjoyed sitting on the porch with you via your words.

  6. My school library had these books, Tara, so awesome, much loved and used. I’m looking forward to hearing about your time this year on the farm. What a spring thing to “imagine” when you get there. FYI-I just read a book with a dog named Sophie in it: Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs-very sweet story.

  7. These books look amazing! And they encourage students to use their “imagination.” What a novel idea in this day and age. I think they are a perfect antidote to the world of the screen we are all plugged into. I will look for them and maybe even purchase them even ‘tho I no longer teach in the classroom. I will use them as a source of inspiration for my upcoming poetry workshop on teaching poetry to ENL students. Thanks so much for so much inspiraration!

  8. Love the new header! Requesting these books right now. What a fun way to begin writer’s workshop. And that description of night at the farm from the front porch was exquisite!

  9. Oh, Tara. I do love the way you described your new home – sounds so idyllic – and definitely the kind of life that needs to be savoured and tasted every evening with stars in your cup. I’ve never heard of this series before and I shall definitely hunt them down in our libraries.

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