Discarded Book

A while back, Michelle posted a wonderful list about happiness. Her slice is a lovely mentor text that could be used with both students and with teachers dabbling in their own writing. Michelle's post made me think of the book, Happiness is a Warm Puppy by Charles Schulz. I happened to find this little gem when I was digging through a box of discarded books in the teacher's lounge. The book  was old, yucky, yellow, and torn and I couldn't wait to read it to the 4th graders I was working with at the time. It was a perfect book to introduce metaphors and an easy sentence model for the kids to play with in their writer's notebooks. All the students, even the reluctant or struggling writers in the class, were able to create touching Happiness is . . . lists. These lists sometimes looked liked poems. Some students used a particular Happiness is . . . sentence as a hook for a longer piece. Other students changed Happiness is . . .  to Sadness is . . . or Loneliness is . . .  and wrote multiple lists. This was also a great opportunity for students to choose their favorite list for publication in a class anthology. As I was writing my most recent Happiness is . . .  list, I was thinking about how participating in the SOL Challenge is impacting me as a teacher and a person. I'm feeling poemy today.

                          Happiness is . . . time.

                          Time to notice.
                          Time to think.
                          Time to try.
                          Time to write.
                          Time to share.
                          Time to sleep.

                          Time to write some more.


  1. ...
    Time to cry.
    Time to read.
    Time to listen.
    Time to eat.


  2. Thanks for the idea of using the book to introduce metaphors. I wrote it down in my notebook. I Love this book! I'm a huge Charlie Brown fan.
    Thanks for you comment on yesterday's post. Baseball season is coming soon and the hours we will be at the ball park are some of my favorite.
    Today's post is about Wes heading to baseball practice.
    Have a super Friday. It seemed strange having a whole week to teach. No snow. :)MaryHelen

  3. Great slice, Diana. I loved your description of the book. I continually tell kids that the yuckier looking the book, the better it must be! And I definitely could use a happiness list of my own today!

    Happy Writing

  4. Your title was so sad when I picture a discarded book I had to read on, and I am so glad this book has found a loving home. What a great writing idea and so easy for kids to apply. I really like your poem. So glad you were feeling poemy today.

  5. Diana,
    I just happen to be at Bed, Bath and Beyond when I saw the phrase, "Happiness is. . ." on a picture frame and thought it would make a great slice.

    You've taken it to another level and I thank you for that! That's why collaboration works!

    Great book -- one I'll have to hunt down -- and great lists. I also love your poem - again, taking another twist on the "happiness is" list and narrowing your topic.


  6. It's nice to take the time to think about what happiness means to each of us. The SOL has made me ponder to. It has given me time to grow...as both a teacher and a writer. Great post.

  7. My father gave me this book when it was first published for a Valentine's Day gift. All four of his daughters received the same book, and so when I pull it down from the bookshelf and see his inscription, it reminds me of him.

    Years later, when I met and married my husband, we were unpacking his books to set on shelves and there it was--the same little book. They sat side by side for years until my husband decided to get rid of his (given to him by an old girlfriend). I never thought of it as being a good vehicle to teach metaphor--I think I'll bring it in to my college class to drive home the points from my lecture last week. Everyone can use a little Peanuts in their life.

    Elizabeth E.

  8. Oh my gooodness...I remember this book! I loved, loved, loved my copy...


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