Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas- Appositives and Picture Books

Last week while planning my lesson on appositives, I knew I wanted to use a picture book to show my students how often writers use appositives.  And because I have  practicum teacher who would be teaching the lesson in one class I wanted to make sure the lesson was fairly straight forward.  I looked through a bunch of picture books and was thrilled when I saw that Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas was chockfull of appositives!  Even better?  My students are currently obsessed with Greek mythology, thanks to Rick Riordan’s books.  Young Zeus seemed like the perfect match for the lesson.

The back of the book says:

This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five Greek gods, an enchanted she-goat, and his mother, became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all. in doing so, he learned a lot about family. Who knew that having relatives could be so complicated, even for a god?

Zeus is a young god in the story, being raised by the she-goat Amalthea.  When he learns the truth about his father, Cronus, he is determined to rescue his brothers and sisters.  That way, he will have someone to play with.  What child (or god) doesn’t long for the perfect playmate? A fantastic introduction to Greek mythology, kids will love this one.  Teachers will love it even more for it’s well-written prose.  The artwork is also gorgeous.

Plus, it uses tons of appositives!  A great way to show students the many ways appositives are used by “real” authors.  By the middle of the book, students were raising their hands to point out appositives as we read.  They also drafted their own sentences about the gods and goddesses, using appositives, after we finished reading the story.

*Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Bye bye Apostrophe?

According to this article from the Associated Press, one city in England is doing away with apostrophes on their street signs!  Now, I am a bit torn on the issue.  Apostrophes are obviously important in grammar.  But the streets they denote today no longer “belong” to those they are named after, if they even did in the first place.  So are they really showing ownership/possession, or are they just there because we are used to them?

However, I do think that if they drop the apostrophes they also need to drop the “s” at the end of each word, too.  Otherwise, they are just pluralizing everything!



National Punctuation Day!

Thanks to Jen for the link to National Punctuation Day!


From the press release:


Why is punctuation important Jeff Rubin the Punctuation Man and founder of National Punctuation Day explains that without punctuation you would not be able to express your feelings in writing not to mention know when to pause or stop or ask a question or yell at someone and without punctuation you would not be able to separate independent clauses and show an example of how a business lost millions because of an errant comma so dont forget the most important punctuation mark $$$$$$ OK so a dollar signs isnt a punctuation mark but its important dont you agree


I think I am going to change my plans for tomorrow and have some fun with punctuation!  I plan on printing (part of) the press release for our do-now and asking the students to add some of the missing punctuation. And I imagine showing some of the incorrectly punctuated signs could start some great conversations.