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First Chapter Friday: Nancy Tandon Reads

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Welcome to the author spotlight series at Spark Creativity.

In this series, you’ll hear from authors sharing their work directly into your classroom. So sit back and listen in. Today we’re hearing from Nancy Tandon, reading from her book, The Way I Say It.  

Nancy has worked as an elementary school teacher, a speech-language pathologist, and an adjunct professor of Phonetics and Child Language Development, all of which helped plant seeds for stories about awesome kids doing brave things.

Her debut middle grade novel, The Way I Say It (Charlesbridge, 2022) was an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce and Indies Next pick as well as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

My hope is that you’ll play this episode to your students on an upcoming Friday, sharing the guiding sketchnotes handout below with them so they can jot down their key takeaways as they listen.

You can play this episode for your students directly using the player below, project the episode on your wall with the Youtube version here, or  click here to play it on any podcast player.

What’s First Chapter Friday?

If you’re new to First Chapter Friday, you can read all about it here. But the quick version is this. On Friday, you share the first chapter of a book with your students. You can read it aloud, you can invite a guest, you can let an author read aloud through Youtube or a podcast, or you can play the first chapter (or any selection really) from an audiobook.

I think it really helps students pay attention if they can focus their energy as they listen on taking sketchnotes. The sketchnotes also come in handy later when kids are looking for their next book to read. If you have them keep all their FCF sketchnotes in one place, then they can quickly browse through for a title they’re interested in.

You can grab a free set of FCF sketchnotes templates to use with any read throughout the year right here if you’d like. Read on for the special one I’ve designed for this episode!

Sketchnotes for this Episode: Nancy Tandon reads from The Way I Say It

In The Way I Say It, middle schooler Rory struggles to say his “R”s and to shrug off the stress of that one missing letter in his speech. Great friends and great music help, but there’s still the problem of Brent, his friend-turned-meanie. When Brent has an accident, Rory doesn’t know how to feel.

In this podcast episode, Nancy reads from the first chapter, in which Rory starts at his new school with a self-introduction he’s NOT excited to make.

Your students can use this book-specific sketchnotes sheet as they follow along with the reading, and you’ll find the text of the first few chapters of the book available free on the Overdrive sample.

Learn more about Nancy Tandon

Nancy Tandon is a children’s book author who loves sharing all kinds of stories. She has worked as an elementary school teacher, a speech-language pathologist, and an adjunct professor of Phonetics and Child Language Development, all of which helped plant seeds for stories about awesome kids doing brave things. Her debut middle grade novel, The Way I Say It (Charlesbridge, 2022) was an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce and Indies Next pick as well as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. She is also the author of The Ghost of Spruce Point, from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster (2022). Born and raised in Michigan, Nancy now lives with her family in Connecticut.

Check out Nancy’s website here.

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