Monday, November 12, 2012

Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit by Norman Bridwell - Teaching Ideas

This Clifford book has him traveling to go see his mother for Thanksgiving. On his way to his mother's house he gets bumped by cars, falls into a river, bumps into a train and gets tackled in a football game. When Clifford finally makes it to his mother's house, she is so excited to see him. They have a wonderful visit and dinner but he soon realizes how much he misses Emily Elizabeth so he rushes home to see her. By being apart for Thanksgiving both Emily Elizabeth and Clifford realize how much they are thankful for each other.

Use the information below to help enhance your read aloud. If you are looking for a little more to use with this book I have created a True False Comprehension Game that would be a great center activity.

Reading level: 1.8
Theme/Subject: Thanksgiving
Genre: holiday fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: drawbridge, city, highway, train station

Reading skills and strategies:

  • asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is going to be about? I wonder if somebody is going to visit Clifford, or if he is going to visit someone? I wonder who it will be? {possible questions during} I wonder if Clifford saw the big balloon that looked like him? {possible questions after} I wonder if Emily Elizabeth will take Clifford with her next year?
**Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • author's point of view - 1st person.  Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • author's purpose - entertaining {evidence} Clifford is huge and red, dogs are not really that big or color. Clifford pushed a train, I don't think he could really do that. Clifford fell into the water from the top of the bridge, that was silly. These things are funny and make an entertaining story.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning}Emily Elizabeth went away for Thanksgiving and Clifford got lonely. {most important event from middle} Clifford traveled to the city to see his mom. {most important event from end} Clifford and Emily Elizabeth were both excited to get home to see each other.
  • cause and effect - Why did Clifford get lonely? because Emily Elizabeth went away for Thanksgiving. Why did some of the cars bump into and honk at Clifford? because they were in a hurry. Why were there no cars on the bridge? because it was a drawbridge and it was going up because of a boat coming. Why did Clifford have to push the train back to the station? because he could not turn around in the tunnel. Why did Clifford take a short cut through the park? because there was a parade in the way. Why did Clifford race back home? because he missed Emily Elizabeth.
  • character analysis - describe Clifford {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • classify & categorize - Things in the city, things in the country
  • compare & contrast - city and country
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Visiting family for Thanksgiving. Missing your animals when you leave.
  • main idea & details - {main idea} Clifford traveled to the city to visit his mom for Thanksgiving. {details} Clifford walked along the highway. Clifford fell off the drawbridge. Clifford went in a train tunnel and had to push the train back to get out. 
  • predict - What do you think the story is going to be about? Do you think Emily Elizabeth will miss Clifford? Clifford is lonely for his family, what do you think he will do to not be lonely? Do you think Clifford will get lost? Will Clifford have any trouble getting to his mom's house? What do you think is going to happen to Clifford on the drawbridge? What do you think the bright light is in the tunnel? Do you think Clifford's mom will be happy to see him?
  • problem & solution - {problem}Clifford is lonely because Emily Elizabeth went away for Thanksgiving. {solution} Clifford decides to go visit his mom for Thanksgiving.
  • sequencing - Emily Elizabeth goes to her grandmother's house for Thanksgiving. Clifford gets lonely. Clifford sets out to visit his mom in the city. Clifford walks on the highway. Clifford falls off the bridge into the water. Clifford tries to go through the tunnel. Clifford bumps into a train and pushes it out of the tunnel. Clifford gets to the city but cannot see his mother's neighborhood. Clifford climbs the buildings to get a better view. Clifford cuts through the park and plays football. Clifford makes it to his mom's house. Clifford eats Thanksgiving dinner with his mother. Clifford runs home to meet Emily Elizabeth.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • summarize - {someone} Clifford {wanted} wanted to visit his mom for Thanksgiving {so} so he did. {then} When Thanksgiving was over he rushed home to see Emily Elizabeth.

 Happy Thanksgiving!

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