Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Chitchat: Celebrating the World’s Languages

Isabella, Jude (Author)
Boake, Kathy (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2013. 44 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781554537877 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 400
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

figurative language, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Did you know that Dr. Seuss coined the term “nerd” in 1950? Or that the Yu’pik language has 70 different words for ice? These are only a few of the countless factoids revealed in this comprehensive and fascinating book about how languages originate and change over time. “Computer,” for example, originally referred to a person who did mathematical calculations and William Shakespeare, the famous English bard, “friended” long before Facebook came along.

Packed with tidbits that will appeal to both children and adults, it covers the whole gamut—early spoken sounds, alphabets and written languages, grammar, made-up languages (such as Klingon or Esperanto), neologisms, sign language and more. A bold, eye-catching layout, reasonably short sections, quiz-like activities, text boxes, sidebars and speech bubbles make it fun, informative and kid-friendly.

This is a book to browse through or read cover to cover—perhaps multiple times—with funky, colourful artwork in a collage-and-digital style that has a contemporary feel.

  •  

    Discuss the most surprising information you find as you read a section of the book with a friend.

  •  

    Create fact cards as you read different sections of the book. 

  •  

    Find two examples of talking/chitchat in the book and explain how they are related to each other. E.g. colour words and culture, direction words and culture, etc.

  •  

    Create an alphabet book of information about languages.

  •  

    With a partner, choose one of the topics from pages 4 and 5, and turn to the appropriate page to read more. 

  •  

    Write five interesting facts in note form about what you read and share it with other students.

  •  

    Make an alphabet book of information about languages.

  •  As a class, set up reading stations based on different chapters of the book (each one designed to activate your prior knowledge). Move from one reading station to another.
  •  The author writes that language is democratic. Explain how she arrived at this conclusion. Make a list of supporting arguments.
  •  Write a letter to an English language board of directors to suggest five words that should be retired from the English language and five new words that should be added. Support your proposals.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual Arts