Shimbir is a delightful narrative which describes a Somali girl’s experience of her first day at school in a new country. When her teacher asks her about the wonderful bird she has painted, all Anisa says is “shimbir”, the Somali word for bird. The class supports Anisa by creating a report about Anisa’s bird and making it into a class big book.
This text supports the comprehension strategies of identifying the main ideas and understanding the author’s purpose. This story will encourage discussion about facing new situations and provides an excellent model of using descriptive language.
the first-person narrator
the way the class supports Anisa
the inclusion of a text within a text
the shift in time from page 5 to page 6 with the children having written and illustrated the big book
the change from past tense in the main text to present tense in the big book
the relatively complex sentences
the unusual perspective in the illustration on page 12
the adverb “proudly” on page 4
the adjectives – beautiful, big, blue, bright, first, green, happy, little, red, wonderful, yellow
the suffix “ful” – beautiful, wonderful
the possessive apostrophes on pages 2, 3, and 5
the “ies” plural ending – berries
the -ea digraph – eats, leaves, speak, teacher
the sentences that include more than one idea
recognising and understanding why Anisa feels more confident by the end of the story.
Themes covered in this book are: School and Community, Family
Reading Level:15-16 (Orange)
Guided Reading Level15
Theme/TopicFamily | School and Community
Strategy/SkillsAuthor's purpose | Drawing conclusions | Making inferences