Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown

December Theme:  Ideas

This month’s theme is Ideas.  How can we use picture books to model for students how authors come up with ideas for their writing?

Recommended Grades: 2-4

Children Make Terrible Pets is a great story about Lucy the Bear and her pet child, Squeaker.  After finding Squeaker in the forest one day, Lucy brings him home to be her pet.  They play together, but Squeaker isn’t all fun and games.  He ruins the furniture, and is difficult to potty train.  One day, he disappears.  Lucy looks all over for him.  When she finds him with his own family, will she bring him back home or leave him there?

Lesson idea: This book is so cute and is such a fun model for ideas.  Read aloud this book to your class and discuss what’s different about it (children usually have pets, they aren’t the pets).  Brainstorm topics and ideas that could be turned from the norm.  Then have students choose one to write about.

If you are looking for additional resources and ways to teach ideas to students, please read the post I wrote about Have I Got a Book for You!, S is for Story: A Writer’s Alphabet, John Philip Duck, Abe’s Fish: A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Artful Reading.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about ideas or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

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