Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy Halloween! October Read-Alouds



We recently revised our October Read-Alouds. We are in love with this combination of new best sellers and old favorites, so we chose not to change any of these titles.  These stories are complex enough, and they lend themselves to span across 3-5 days  of close reading.  While teaching each title, we cover many Common Core Literature Standards while also giving ourselves time to respond to the text with writing and art. Each day we read the book for a different purpose and students complete a different activity. 



We wrote rigorous text dependent questions where students use evidence from the text to deepen their understanding of the stories.  We created graphic organizers and writing in response to text activities to incorporate writing standards. We also incorporated a craftivity to compliment each read-aloud and designed bulletin board headings to display the work.  Our students fall in love with these stories because we dive deeply into them. Instead of reading the story once, we take time to understand key ideas and details, analyze craft and structure by examining dialogue, typography, word choice, etc., and focus on integration of knowledge idea by searching for information that comes from the illustrations.



We have included a brief overview of how we taught each book.  


The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend 
by Dan Santat 
Beekle is a heartwarming story that will ignite your students' imaginations as they travel to a place of imaginary friends and unbreakable bonds of friendship. Beekle is an imaginary friend who is searching for a child to imagine him. Instead of waiting to be chosen, Beekle decides to search for his friend. Readers follow him on his journey to the real world, where he explores strange real world things. Beekle has a fun twist at the end that students don't typically catch the first read. Its clever story-line requires inference and analysis of illustrations, which make it perfect for a  close read.  We decided to use the 5 w's (who, what, where, why, when) to discuss the key ideas and details of the story. Students also found adjectives to describe Beekle.  Then, students imagined their own friend and wrote adjectives to describe him/her. Finally, students filled out a 5w's page on their own imaginary friend and used their graphic organizer to write their own story.


Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
Creepy Carrots tells the story of Jasper, a rabbit who can't get enough carrots.  He takes them from Crackenhopper field and eats them day and night. One day, after Jasper helps himself to another snack, he suspects that the carrots are following him. Is Jasper paranoid, or are the creepy carrots actually following him? This clever tale keeps students guessing until the very end...then delivers a twist! We created several graphic organizers for this story.  Students recorded the events, analyzed point of view, and wrote about how they would trick Jasper. 

Our students LOVED watching this video about the illustrations after answering the day 3 text dependent questions. 



Bone Soup by Cambria Evans

Bone Soup takes a Halloween spin on the classic tale "Stone Soup".  Finnigin is a skeleton known across the land for his voracious appetite. When the towncreatures hear of his impending arrival, they hide their food and lock their doors.  That is, until Finigin concocts a scheme that tricks all of them into giving him food to make magical bone soup. This story is perfect for retelling key ideas and details by sequencing. We created stick puppets and a Finnigin paper bag puppet for students to feed him the ingredients in bone soup.  Our students also wrote Bone Soup recipes and created their own crazy soup concoctions. 



Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is the perfect book to teach how text and illustrations work together. The story is told through the clever illustrations. Dave and Sam plan to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. While the boys choose which direction to dig, the illustrations let readers in on the truth - they are barely missing the treasure each time they change in direction. Students love being in on the "secret." We created a simple beginning, middle, end graphic organizer for students to grasp the key ideas and details before moving to the more complex organizer.  Students then recorded connections between the text and illustrations.  Students also wrote about their something spectacular (goal), and how they will achieve it.  


Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming

Pumpkin Eye is the perfect book to help tackle poetry Core standards. This spooky, mysterious rhyming text captures the essence of Halloween night. Students are enchanted with its beautiful illustrations and detailed descriptions.  We found adjectives and nouns in the text. Then, students brainstormed their own Halloween nouns and adjectives to describe them.  They used their words to write and illustrate a Halloween night poem book.  

Piggie Pie! and Zoom Broom by Margie Palatini


Piggie Pie is a truly hilarious story about Gritch the witch's quest for pigs to make piggie pie. She flies to Old MacDonald's farm to find some plump piggies to satisfy her craving. When she arrives at the farm, there isn't a piggie to be found.  The piggies have outsmarted Gritch by disguising themselves as other animals. This story keeps students laughing the entire time.  Students squeal at the end, when Gritch meets Mr. Wolf and they each have their own agenda for lunch.  Zoom Broom, the squeal, is equally entertaining.  This round, Gritch has a craving for Rabbit Rye.  Her broom breaks down on her way to snatch rabbits from the Farmer in the Dell.  She visits Foxy's store to buy new transportation, where she isn't impressed with his cheesy sales tatics. 
During these lessons, we compared and contrasted the two stories.  For Piggie Pie, we focused on key ideas and details by having students complete a "somebody-wanted-but-so-then" flip book. Students wrote an alternate ending to the story and designed a disguise for Gritch to hide from the wolf.  After discussing the key ideas in Zoom Broom, students were able to complete a venn diagram, comparing the two stories.  




We have written detailed lesson plans for each of these books that can be found in our Teachers-Pay-Teachers store. You can purchase each read aloud separately or in the October Bundle.