Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

January Theme:  Patricia Polacco picture books

Patricia Polacco is another author whose books became touchstone texts in my classroom.  Her ability to write stories that children can relate to makes it easy to see why her books became model texts.

Comprehension Strategy: Asking Questions

A sweet story about a childhood friendship.  Winnie and her neighbors Stewart and Winston spend Sundays together going to church with their “gramma” Miss Eula.  Miss Eula always admires a hat in Mr. Kodinski’s store window.  The kids decide they want to buy it for her for Easter, but they need to earn money.  Before they can inquire about a job with Mr. Kodinski, they are accused of throwing eggs at his shop.  Will they earn the money in time to purchase the hat?  Will Mr. Kodinski realize they didn’t throw the eggs?

Chicken Sunday provides an opportunity for students to practice asking questions before, during, and after reading.

Lesson idea: Prior to reading aloud the text, ask students to write down any questions they have based on the cover picture.  As you read aloud, stop about half way through the book (around the time the kids go to ask Mr. Kodinski for a job) and have students list any questions they have.  After you finish reading, have students list any further questions they have.  As a class, chart the questions, and determine if they can be answered by the text, by background knowledge, by making inferences, or not at all.

What books do you use to teach asking questions?  Do you have any touchstone texts or touchstone authors in your classroom?

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