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New Friends for the New School Year Come in All Forms As Told in Hilarious Picture Book for Young Readers

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Reasons for Hating School Turn Into Reasons for Loving School

New school year can have challenges-turn reasons for hating school into reasons for loving school

New school year can have challenges-turn reasons for hating school into reasons for loving school

New School Year With New Challenges

Some children may already be trying to think of reasons to hate school even though the new school year is barely in progress. How about describing your new friends as wild animals? Mom and Dad probably won't buy into this excuse. Becky Scharnhorst's My School Stinks! is a hilarious picture book and story about turning reasons for hating school into reasons for loving school.

This little boy is keeping a diary to record his feelings about starting a new school year. He decides that the new friends are making his new classroom stink because everyone is an animal, and he decides to be sick after only one day back for the new school year. His locker buddy bit him! One friend keeps looking through his hair to find bugs. One friend ate the science experiment. What kind of year is this going to be? Mr. Grizzley, the teacher, gave him a classroom job that he did not want. Things started to turn around after a few weeks. His friend that bit him apologized and asked to be friends. Other friends helped to do the classroom job of cleaning the closet. The reasons for hating school turned into reasons for loving school.

Julia Patton contributed her talents as an illustrator with colorful and humorous depictions of the new school year. Scharnhorst's My School Stinks has a lesson for all who are thinking that their new school year won't be wonderful.

My School Stinks is recommended for ages 5-8 and was published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin/Random House. It has an ISBN of 978-0-593-11652-4.

Colorful and Humorous Illustrations of the Start of a New School Year

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Bring My School Stinks into Your Classroom for Engaging Activities

Teachers will want to add Becky Scharnhorst's My School Stinks for helping to mitigate feelings about the new school year that some students might be feeling. Sometimes a new school year with new friends can be intimidating. Students sometimes come up with all kinds of excuses to dislike school.

*Read My School Stinks! in a story time session. Engage your students in a discussion of their fears about beginning a new school year. Write the excuses on chart paper for reference later.

*Engage students in a discussion of how to start a new school year and meet new friends. What happens if some of the friends are different from what you expect?

*Engage students in a discussion of ways to become friends even if the new friends start out as not so great, as in My School Stinks!.

*The little boy in the story keeps a diary about the events of the beginning weeks in his new classroom. Provide small diaries for students to keep a record of events during their first few weeks of the new school year. Young students who are not yet writers can draw pictures of their feelings during the first few weeks of the new school year.

*Provide crayons, markers, and drawing paper for students to record a funny event that has happened during the first few days or weeks of the new school year. Share the pictures and place around the classroom.

*Remind the students of the list that they made of reasons that they dislike school. Engage students in a discussion of reasons that they now think that the new school year will be great and post this list a few weeks after the beginning of the new year.

*Provide treats for a class party after the first few weeks into the new school year.

*Engage students in a discussion about new friendships that have been made. What do they like about their new friends?

*Engage students in a discussion of their ideas about things that they can do to make their new school year great. Write the ideas on chart paper to post around the classroom. Save the list for the end of the year to discover if these things occurred.

© 2021 Cindy Hewitt

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