Fly, Chick, Fly
Written by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Tony Ross
Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross team up again to produce a gentle read for a second graders, but the simply poignant text is appealing to a broad range of ages. Fly, Chick, Fly is a poetic tale about how different members of an owl family respond to the normal changes of life. The youngest chick in a sibling group is resistant to independence, despite her parents’ prodding and her siblings’ success.
The text is an excellent read-aloud for students, and the repetitive vocabulary builds comprehension skills. As a comprehension check, students could write a list of the reasons that the owlet sites to avoid flying and what happens to change the chick’s mind about flying. As students journal in response to Fly, Chick, Fly, they may write about several topics, such as what makes them feel anxious, how they can relate to the third chick, or what the owlet’s parents should say to her to encourage her. A teacher may even have students write letters to the third owlet to inspire her to fly.
Educators could easily use this book within a unit about time or seasons since the book moves through the seasons. Students should read for hints of the passage of time including these lines, “When the blackberries were green […]. When the blackberries were ripe […]. The blackberries were gone. The leaves were turning brown.” To link literacy and math, students may use the text to figure out approximately how old the third owlet is when she leaves home. Fly, Chick, Fly offers a sweet story for a second grade class, but its scope certainly reaches even beyond the classroom to the hearts of adults.