Wow. That's great to hear! It looks like you are ready to go. Let me add a great book to add to the discussion table:
~ Riding the Tiger by Eve Bunting. Growing up in L.A. I quickly knew the tiger was a symbol for gangs, but with no prior schema around here...this was a great book that involved a close ear. My students seemed to notice every tiny detail of this story.
Besides that, think of any books you adore that involve strong emotions (feelings-love, hate, etc.). Today I just starting pulling out a whole bunch of books (it was a fieldtrip day with some time to kill). With prior read-alouds, students quickly caught on.
And sorry for the delay on my plans. With the crashing of my hard drive, I am currently without Microsoft Word. :( It is looking like Thursday before my laptop returns.
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