Maurice Sendak has captured the imaginations of young readers for many years. This American Master’s series lesson for teachers contains activities for both elementary and middle school students. Early elementary students will read books written and/or illustrated by Maurice Sendak, learn what reading was like at Sendak’s elementary school, and write a class book based on one of Sendak’s stories. Middle school students will learn how Sendak not only wrote and illustrated children’s books and created works in the field of ballet, but also turned his book Where the Wild Things Are into an opera. They will also work in groups to produce an opera.
First section grades: K – 2
Second section grades: 6 – 8
Language Arts; Music
- discuss the reading experience.
- recognize the work of Maurice Sendak.
- identify what they like about their favorite books.
- write and illustrate a class book.
- gather information about Maurice Sendak.
- create the lyrics, costumes, music, and stage set for an opera.
Language Arts Standards:
- Creates mental images from pictures and print
- Knows the main ideas or theme of a story
- Relates stories to personal experiences (e.g., events, characters, conflicts, themes)
- Composes short pieces within specified guidelines (e.g., ABA form, limited range, simple rhythms)
- Uses descriptive language that clarifies and enhances ideas (e.g., establishes tone and mood, uses figurative language, uses sensory images and comparisons, uses a thesaurus to choose effective wording)