Another great book by Graeme Base is Uno's Garden. The pictures are fantastic!! Graeme Base created new animals based on real animals with some pretty interesting names. The plants are also new and hard to pronounce; schmushlemushes anyone? The book has some math too if you want to pull in any math vocabulary.
1) Comprehension Questions: There are a lot of questions you can ask with this book before you read, while you are reading, and after you read. You can also talk about the moral of the story and how some books are written to inspire the reader to change the world. I think one of my kids may end up a vegetarian working for Green Peace when he is older based on his reaction to this book.
Get your Questions here!
2) Picture Sequencing: Take pictures of the pages in the book and have your kids organize them in the correct sequence (you can put them up on the white board so you will be able to write under them in a later activity). Talk about what a turning point is and how the book starts counting back up from 1 to 10 in the sequence. **After doing this with several groups and finding the same problem, you might want to give this hint: after the turning point, the pictures are over one page instead of two pages like they are before the turning point.
3) Transition Words: After sequencing the pictures, talk about transition (or combining) words. Have your kids sort their words into Before Words, During Words, and After Words. Talk about how these transition words help you move from one point of the story to another. Once you categorize your words, have the students pick words to put with each picture and add them to the board.
Get your Transition Words here!
4) Story Retelling: Once you have sequenced your pictures and added transition words, work with your kids to retell the story by using the transition words as the first words in the sentences. Write the rest of the sentence under each picture. If you have a camera, video tape your kids retelling the story using your sequenced pictures and sentences. They can watch it at the beginning of their next speech session and you can reinforce the importance of transition words.
5) Comparing and Contrasting: Now that your kids are well versed in transition words, you can use the "during words" to compare and contrast Graeme Base's animals and their real life counterparts. Some animals are a combination of two animals and some are just one. You can use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast two or add another ring and do three. Have the kids pick one way the animals are the same and one way they are different, throw in a "during word" and they have a sentence.
Get you Compare and Contrast Animal Pictures here!
6) Dirt Pie: We made dirt pie because the garden has dirt (genius right?). We talked about what ingredients represent the mud and the dirt in the pie and then made personal pies in cups with gummy worms to round them out. Enjoy!!
Get your Permission Slip here!