Monday, March 19, 2012

Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion - Teaching Ideas



In 1956 when Gene Zion wrote this story, I am sure he had no idea that Harry The Dirty Dog would become such a classic. It is a story that every adult and {hopefully} every child has read or heard. I say hopefully because it is a book that can get lost in a book bin or overlooked when looking for that perfect read aloud. Well, I am here to tell you that you need to pull this little gem out and read it. You will be instantly transported back to a time when you were in school and either read this on your own or listened to your teacher read it aloud. My memories go straight back to the 1st grade when Mrs. Rand read it to our class {yes, I still remember her name and exactly what she looked like. I think she was about 100 years old when I had her}.  Well now, getting back to the story, it is a simple tale of a family with a dog that does not like baths. On the day of his bath Harry decides it would be better to run away than have that bath. He was right! He had fun traipsing through the city having all kinds of fun and getting extremely dirty. He was so dirty he was no longer white with black spots he is black with white spots!  Harry finally decides that he is tired and should head home, but a funny thing happened when he got there, his family didn't recognize him. What will Harry do to make his family recognize him? You will just have to read to find out what happens to poor ole' Harry {unless of course you remember the story, exactly!}?

To make this story more than just a read aloud, here is some more information about this book.


Reading level: 3.1
Theme: animals/pets
Genre: classics, animal stories

Suggested Vocabulary: coal chute, clever, flip-flopped, soundly

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {before} Why are there two dogs on the cover? {during} Why did Harry not like taking a bath? How come Harry's family did not recognize him? How come Harry unburied the scrubbing brush? Why did Harry really want a bath? {after} Why did Harry hide the scrubbing brush again?
  • author's point of view - 3rd person
  • author's purpose - entertain
  • beginning, middle, end  - {beg} Harry hid the scrubbing brush so he wouldn't get a bath. Harry ran away. {mid} Harry played and got dirty as he wondered around the city. Harry got tired and wanted to go home. When Harry got home he was so dirty his family didn't recognize him. Harry did all the tricks he know but they still didn't recognize him. {end} Harry unburied the scrubbing brush and ran to the bathtub. The kids gave him a bath and discovered that it was Harry. Everyone was very happy.
  • cause and effect - Why did Harry hide the scrubbing brush? because he did not like to take baths. Why did Harry run away? because he did not want to take a bath. Why did Harry decide to go home? because he was tired. Why did the family not recognize Harry? because he was black with white spots instead of white with black spots. Why did Harry do all his tricks? because he tried to have the family recognize him. Why did Harry dig up the scrubbing brush? because he wanted a bath to show that he was really Harry.
  • characterization - describe Harry
  • compare & contrast  - compare and contrast Harry as a white dog and Harry as a black dog. How did he act? How did his family react?
  • connections - text-to-self - Have a white dog with black spots. Dog hates baths. Dog has run away. Dog came home. Dog got really dirty like Harry.
  • drawing conclusions - Why do you think Harry hid the scrubbing brush at the end of the story? {clues from the story} - Harry hid the brush at the beginning of the book because he didn't like baths {what I know} I know that even though Harry ran to the bath tub with the scrubbing brush to get a bath, he only did that because he wanted the family to see that he was a white dog not a black dog. {my conclusion} Harry still doesn't like baths and probably wont get that dirty again.
  • plot - character vs. self - Harry struggles with his dislike for baths and his needing to have a bath so that his family will recognize him so he can come home.
  • predict - How do you think Harry is going to get dirty? Is Harry going to go back home? Do you think somebody will find Harry? Do you think Harry's family is going to recognize Harry? What do you think Harry should do to be recognized? Will his family shoo him out of the yard? Will Harry like baths from now on? Do you think Harry will ever get as dirty as he just did again?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Harry didn't like to have baths and one day got so dirty that his family didn't recognize him. {solution} Harry unburied the scrubbing brush and ran to the bath tub so he could have a bath so his family could recognize him.
  • sequencing - Harry buried the scrubbing brush. Harry ran away. Harry got dirty. Harry got tired and went home. Harry's family saw a strange dog in their back yard. Harry did a bunch of tricks. The family did not recognize Harry. Harry unburied the scrubbing brush. Harry ran to the bathtub. The kids have Harry a bath. Everyone was happy. Harry put the scrubbing brush under his bed.
  • story elements - list title, characters, setting, theme, genre, problem and solution.
  • strong thought - students might have a strong thought when Harry decides to run away and when the family doesn't not recognize him.
  • summarize - {somebody}The family {wanted} wanted to give Harry a bath {but} but Harry buried the scrubbing brush and ran away {so} so he didn't have to have a bath. {then} Then Harry got tired and wanted to go home but his family didn't recognize him so {at the end} Harry finally unburied the scrubbing brush and ran to the bath tub for a bath so his family would recognize him.
  • visualize - all the places that Harry went when he ran away.

Here is a little freebie for you!

If you would like more I have created a packet of activities to go with this book, just visit my TpT or Teachers Notebook store to find it.



Happy reading!

11 comments :

  1. I like your blog....oh...oops, did I say "like"? I meant I L*O*V*E it!! I saw it a while back and somehow did not follow it. I was so mad!! It is really quite awesome how you have it presented. I'm following you now! And, I love Harry the Dirty Dog, an oldie but a goodie. Have a great week!!

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    1. Thank you so much, that means a lot. I really wanted to have a blog that was different and offered something that was useful, I hope I am achieving that. Glad to have you as a new friend!
      Shawna

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  2. O.M.G. I think I just fell-in-love!!! I don't know how I did not have you on my stalking list!!! Read-alouds and strategies HAUNT me!!! I am always second guessing myself...but not anymore. Love your blog and your ideas...I am your newest stalker!

    Samantha
    Ms.Smarty Pants

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    1. And do you mind telling me how I get a picture with my name instead of the blogger "B"???

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    2. Hey Samantha, thanks for the great compliment!! As far as the Blogger "B" when you click on your name it takes you to your Google profile. You need to update your Google profile (by clicking edit profile on the far right top corner), you can upload a picture to that and that should take care of it...I hope! email me if you need more help or it doesn't work.
      Shawna

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Thanks for the how to! I tried so let's so what happens!

      Samantha
      Ms.Smarty Pants

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    5. No more B, your button is there...you are good to go!
      Shawna

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  3. I love this book! You have put so much work into these lessons! Wonderful, wonderful!!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Hey Lori,
      Thanks, I love this book too!
      Shawna

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  4. What age group rage do you think would be able to read this book by themselves for a Guided reading.

    Grade 2? - early readers..
    or grade 3 - fluent readers?

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Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

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