When Clay Sings: Byrd Baylor

When Clay Sings

Author: Byrd Baylor
Illustrator: Tom Bahti
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Year: 1972
Brief Summary: Children try to guess what life was like years ago in the southwest desert through broken pieces of pottery.  Lyrical; poetic.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1973 Honor Book United States
Southwest Book Awards, 1972 Winner United States

 Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Pair with other books (information or fictional) about southwest Indians…  Study the pictures in the book…what do the pictures on the pieces of pottery tell us about the daily life of Indians long ago?  Discuss different animals, bugs, traditions.
  • Why did people from ancient times put such thought into their pottery?
  • Why did the author title the book “When Clay Sings”?  Can clay sing?  What did the author mean by that?  Can you imagine the words of the book put into a song?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: southwest Indians

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at:  Signal Mountain Library

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