Now Open the Box by Dorothy Kunhardt

Publisher: The New York Review Children’s Collection

Publication Date:  August 20, 2013

A circus man stands in front of his circus tent holding a very small box. What could be in that little, tiny box? When the circus man opens the box, all the people see for themselves a teeny, tiny, dog, named Peewee.

Read Aloud Recommended Grades: K-2

Lesson Recommended Grades: 3-5

Note:  This book was originally published in 1934, a re-released classic by the author of Pat the Bunny.

Lesson Idea: Sentence Fluency/Dialogue: Read aloud Now Open the Box and discuss the author’s technique. What do students notice when you show them the text? She used run on sentences to build suspense and grab the reader’s attention. She also left out traditional punctuation when characters spoke. After reading aloud, provide copies of several pages of the text for students. Ask them to indicate places where they could add punctuation for dialogue.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

©2013 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Find out why Yankee was so cranky in this hilarious take on the traditional song. 

 

Lesson Idea:


Six Traits: Organization, Writer’s Workshop: Dialogue: Read aloud Crankee Doodle (makes a fun read aloud!).  Use this book as a mentor text for organization – fun surprise ending or a mentor text for dialogue.  How does the author show dialogue in this book? Group Crankee Doodle with other books with different examples of dialogue, such as, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, Big Plans by Bob Shea, One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, and Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj to share how different authors display dialogue in ways other than with traditional quotation marks. 

 

©2013 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

Recommended Grades: K-5

Cats have secrets they keep in a book.  But, if you are anything other than a cat, and especially a  mouse, you should not be reading it!  What happens when the cats test the readers to see if they meet the criteria to read the book?      

Lesson Idea:  


Read Aloud/Model Text: This is a fun read aloud for kids in the primary grades.  It also makes a good model text for writing dialogue.  The author uses bubbles to indicate when a cat is speaking.  Cat Secrets can also be used as a model for “talking directly to the reader.”  Both author’s craft techniques can be modeled for students in writer’s workshop.

©2013 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Recommended Grades: 3-5

What would you do if you met your ideal pet?  Elliot asks his father if he can have a penguin during a visit to the aquarium.  This begins a silly tale of an irresistible friendship. 

Lesson Idea:  


Six Traits Mentor Text/Conventions or Organization: Read aloud One Cool Friend and discuss how the author/illustrator modeled the use of dialogue.  The author actually uses dialogue bubbles embedded within the text.  Additionally, this book would be a great model text for surprise endings.

©2012 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Big Plans by Bob Shea

Recommended Grades: 2nd -5th grades

In Big Plans a little boy sits in the corner of his classroom plotting his future and his plans are BIG! With the help of his bird and a lucky stinky hat, he may become Mayor, President, or fly to the moon!  

I wrote a post about Big Plans in 2010.  At that time, I recommended using it as a book to help students set goals for the beginning of the year.  Here I recommend using it to set summer reading goals:  

 

Lesson Plan Ideas:

Goal Setting: After reading aloud Big Plans, discuss the idea of making summer reading goals with your students. As a class, discuss reasonable reading goals for the summer. Provide students with a Big Plans Summer Reading goal sheet they can use to record the number of books they read. 
 
Writers Workshop, Dialogue: Read aloud Big Plans and discuss how the author differentiated dialogue in the story (color and size).  Share other models of dialogue for students as mentor texts when they are writing.  Encourage students to borrow from the authors’ craft in their own writing. 
 
 
©2012 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
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