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The TK Alligators Meet Author Nina Crews

Friday, November 19, 2021

Over the last several weeks, our Transitional Kindergarten Alligators have been reading a lot of books by author/illustrator Nina Crews: A High, Low, Near, Far, Loud, Quiet Story, Jack and the Beanstalk, Below, and A Girl Like Me are just a few of the titles. And they’ve led to some great lessons: A High, Low, Near, Far, Loud, Quiet Story encouraged them to think about opposites, while A Girl Like Me inspired them to create self-reflective activity pages expressing who they are and what they want to be.

The Alligators wondered many things about Nina and her books: Why does she use photographs for illustrations? Why are a lot of her stories set in the summertime? Why are there more pictures than words in her books? They eventually learned the answers to these questions from the best possible source! This Wednesday, Nina was kind enough to join the Alligators on Zoom and talk about her writing process. After hearing the students’ questions, she discussed how she loved photography when she was younger and thought it was a great way of making art, how summers were her favorite memories of growing up in New York, and how in her opinion “pictures are as much a star of the show as words” and deserve to have a prominent place in books.

We would like to thank Nina for joining us this week; the Alligators loved having the opportunity to meet her! As Transitional Kindergarten teacher Divya Vyas pointed out, the question-and-answer format was an especially important piece of their learning. “Asking questions is harder than making a comment,” Divya said. “It requires you to first understand the topic, then think about what you need to know or learn more about.” It’s a great example of one of our learning beliefs: the concept that inquiry-based learning leads to deep understanding, action, and reflection.