Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Trick or Treat Little Critter by Gina and Mercer Mayer - Teaching Ideas

Little Critter and his family are getting ready for Halloween. They shop for candy and costumes, they go to the pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin and then they end up not carving the pumpkin because Little Sister doesn't want to hurt it. Little Critter makes a monster mask and has a party in his classroom at school and then, it is time! It is time to go trick-or-treating. While out trick-or-treating Little Critter sees many friends, one of which is wearing the same costume as him :(   Little Critter has had a great Halloween, until he notices a hole in his candy bag! What will he do?

Who doesn't love Little Critter? This book will delight your students and help them get into the Halloween mood. Here is a list of skills and strategies that you could use to create a lesson to use with this book. For fun, I have created a True False comprehension game that would be great as a center activity. Look at the bottom of this post for more information on this game.

Reading level: 2.0
Theme: Halloween
Genre: fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: draw straws

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder if they will get a lot of candy? {possible questions during} I wonder why they didn't just get two pumpkins? What does it mean to draw straws? I wonder if Little Critter was mad that someone else had the same costume as him? I wonder how Little Critter got a hole in his candy bag? {possible questions after} I wonder if Little Critter really will be able to make his candy last till next year? **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • author's point of view - 1st person. Find 3 examples that show 1st person.
  • author's purpose - entertain{evidence} Mercer Mayer always writes silly books. Dad looked silly in his mask. It was funny when Little Critter said their pumpkin looked dumb. All these things make a very entertaining book.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Little Critter and his family were getting ready for Halloween. {most important event from middle} Little Critter's dad took him and his sister trick-or-treating.{most important event from end} Little Critter's sister said she would share her candy with him since he lost some out of his bag.
  • cause and effect - Why did Little Critter and his family have a lot to do? because Halloween was coming. Why did they go to the store? so they could buy costumes and Halloween candy. Why did dad get a silly mask? because the creepy one scared Little Critter's baby brother.  Why did dad sneeze a lot? because of the hayride. Why did Little Critter and his sister have to draw straws? because they each found a perfect pumpkin but they could only get one. Why did dad draw a face on the pumpkin? because sister didn't want him to hurt her pumpkin. Why did Little Critter's class make masks? because it was Halloween. Why did Little Critter start to cry? because there was a hole in his bag and he lost some of his candy. Why does Little Critter think his candy will last until next Halloween? because there was so much.
  • characterization - describe Little Critter {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • compare & contrast - your costume to Little Critter's costume
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Getting ready for Halloween. Going to buy costumes and candy. Having a Halloween party in class. Picking out a pumpkin. Going trick-or-treating. Having someone wear the same costume as you. Having a hole in your candy bag.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - How do you think Little Critter felt when he saw someone wearing the same costume as his? {text clues} In the picture Little Critter did not look happy. {what I know} I know that if someone is wearing the exact same costume as me, I feel a sad and maybe even a little mad. {my conclusion} I think Little Critter was mad when he saw someone wearing the same costume as his.
  • main idea & details - {main idea} The main idea of the story is Little Critter and his family are getting ready for Halloween. {details} They shop for costumes and candy. They go pick out a pumpkin. They try to carve their pumpkin. They dress in their costumes and got out to trick-or-treat.
  • predict - What do you think the story is going to be about? What costume do you think Little Critter will get? Whose pumpkin do you think they will take home? What do you think Little Critter is going to do when he sees the hole in his candy bag? Do you think Little Critter really will be able to make his candy last until next Halloween?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Little Critter has a hole in his candy bag. {solution} Little Critter's sister offers to share her candy.
  • sequencing - Little Critter and his family went to the store for costumes and candy. Dad picked out a silly mask. Little Critter picked out a pirate costume. Little Sister picked out a princess costume. They went on a hayride and picked out a pumpkin. Dad drew a face on their pumpkin. Little Critter's class had a Halloween party. They went out trick-or-treating. Little Critter saw someone that had the same costume as him. Little Critter had a hole in his candy bag. Little Sister shared her candy with Little Critter.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution. 
  • summarize - {someone}Little Critter and his family {wanted} wanted to get ready for Halloween {so} so they bought costumes, candy and a pumpkin and {then} then went trick-or-treating.


You can find this game in either one of my stores.

Happy Halloween!

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