Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Most Magnificent Thing

Title:  The Most Magnificent Thing
Author:  Ashely Spires
Illustrator:  Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press © 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55453-704-4
Grade Level: PreK-3
Book Review:  One day this regular girl and her canine assistant decide to make "the most magnificent thing."  Despite  a perfectly clear vision of what it is and how it should work, this regular girl encounters some serious frustration as she seeks to actualize her vision. Perseverance pays off, but as important as her final product, is what she learns about herself along the way.
Systems Thinking Connections:
Habits: This book could be subtitled, checks results and changes actions if needed:  "successive approximation."  In a crystal clear, yet understated way, Spires shares with her readers the process of creating something magnificent.  In the true spirit of "successive approximation" Spires writes, "There are some parts of the WRONG things that are really quite RIGHT." In a way that is very accessible to young children this book shows the importance of failing fast, learning from your mistakes and moving forward to create something even better than what you may have imagined.
Tools:  Graphing this regular girl's frustration would be an awesome way to introduce  behavior-over-time graphs or to reinforce the tool for students who are already familiar with it. To follow up on their BOTGs around the story students could identify their own experience of frustration and use a BOTG to tell the story of their level of frustration and what steps they took to manage it.  This book also lends itself to use with a goal gap loop.  The protagonist in the story has a clear vision of what she wants to create, but there is a gap.  She applies different strategies to bring her closer to her goal.  Her story could be retold using a goal gap loop, increasing comprehension of the text while at the same time helping students be more mindful of using the goal gap to create their own "most magnificent thing" whatever it may be.

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