Friday, December 28, 2012

A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Zierfert - Teaching Ideas


Anna needs a new coat but they don't have any money, and even if they did they wouldn't be able to buy one because the stores are empty. Anna's mother decides to trade some of her valuables to get Anna a new coat, but they can't just trade what they have for a new coat, they need to have the coat made. Anna and her mother visit a farmer for some wool, a spinner to get the wool spun into yarn, a weaver to get the yarn woven into cloth and a tailor to get the cloth turned into a coat. All of these generous people traded their goods and services for the valuables that Anna's mother had: a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a teapot. By the time Anna picks up her coat it is a year later, because each person needed time to do their part. Anna admires her new coat and as a thank you Anna and her mother invite everyone that helped make it to a Christmas celebration. This is a wonderful book that shows kindness and generosity.

This is such a great teaching book, there are so many opportunities for teaching theme, plot, predicting, questioning and cause and effect, I couldn't help but make a HUGE packet to go with it - most of the reading skills and strategies listed below are in the packet and are differentiated for all your kiddos.

Not interested in a pre-made packet? Listed below is all the information you need to create a meaningful activity/lesson.

Reading level: 3.1
Theme: giving/generosity, kindness
Genre: historical fiction

Suggested vocabulary and phrases: wool, sheared the sheep’s wool, card the wool, spinning wheel, lingonberries, weaver, garnet necklace, porcelain tea pot, tailor

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder why Anna needs a new coat. I wonder where Anna will get her new coat. {possible questions during} How come Anna and her mother don’t have enough money for a new coat? How come the stores were empty? Won’t Anna’s mother miss all the things she is giving away? I wonder why it took so long for Anna to get her coat. {possible questions after} I wonder what they will do the next time Anna needs a new coat. **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author’s point of view – Third person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author’s purpose – entertain {evidence} The author is telling a story. Anna made the sheep paper necklaces. The illustrator helps tell the story with the pictures she painted.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Anna needs a new coat; her old one is much too small. {most important event from middle} Anna’s mother decides to trade valuable belongings to get Anna her coat. {most important event from end} Anna and her mother have a Christmas celebration inviting everyone that helped make Anna’s new coat.
  • Cause and effect – Why did Anna need a new coat? Because her old one was too small. Why could Anna’s mother not buy her a coat when the war ended? Because the stores remained empty and no one had any money. Why did mother decide to give her valuable belongings away? So she could get all the materials needed for Anna to get a new coat. Why did Anna and her mother go see a farmer? Because they needed wool from his sheep. Why did Anna and her mother go see an old woman that had a spinning wheel? Because they needed her to turn the wool into yarn. Why did the old woman say to come back when the cherries were ripe? Because she was old and she needed time to spin the wool. Why did Anna and her mother pick lingonberries? Because they were going to use them to die the yarn red. Why did Anna and her mother go see the weaver? Because they needed her to weave the yarn into cloth. Why did Anna and her mother go see a tailor? Because they needed the tailor to make Anna’s coat. Why did Anna keep looking in the store windows? Because she was looking at her new coat. Why did Anna and her mother invite everyone that helped make her coat to their Christmas celebration? Because they wanted to thank them for helping to make Anna’s new coat.
  • character analysis - describe Anna, describe Anna’s mother {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Classify & categorize – clothes you wear for summer and clothes you wear for winter.
  • Compare & contrast – your coat to Anna’s new coat.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Needing a new coat. Visiting sheep. Having a caring mom. Having a Christmas celebration. Having a red coat. Trading for something you need.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – How do you think Anna’s mother feels about giving away her valuables? {text clues} Anna’s mother promised to get her a new coat. They did not have any money and Anna really needed a new coat; her old one was too small. {what I know} I know that things are nice to have but family is more important. If you really need something you will find a way to get it. {my conclusion} I think Anna’s mom might have been a little sad giving her things away, but because Anna needed a new coat and they didn’t have any money she had to give her stuff away to be able to get Anna that coat. In the end I think Anna’s mother is happy because Anna is happy and warm.
  • Fact & opinion – about sheep. {facts} There are over 1 billion sheep in the world. Female sheep are called ewes. Young sheep are called lambs. A group of sheep are called a flock, herd or mob. Sheep are herbivores. {opinions} Sheep are the best farm animals. Sheep look funny when their wool is real long. Sheep are dirty animals. I think sheep are loud when the say “baa”. Sheep are very fluffy.  
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} Anna needs a new coat. {details} Anna and her mom trade a watch for the wool. They trade a lamp to get the wool spun into yarn. Anna and her mom die the yarn red with lingonberries. They trade a necklace to get the yarn woven into cloth. They trade a porcelain teapot to a tailor to get the cloth made into a coat.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when Anna’s mother decides to trade her valuable possessions to get Anna her new coat.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is going to be about? How do you think they will get Anna a new coat? How long will it take for Anna to get a new coat? Do you think the farmer will trade the wool for the watch? What do you think they will do with the bag of wool? What color do you think Anna will pick for her new coat? What will Anna and her mother use to dye the yarn? After they dye the yarn, what will they do with it? Will the tailor trade his services for the teapot? How do you think Anna and her mother will thank everyone that helped to make Anna’s coat?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} Anna needs a new coat and there is no money or supplies in the stores. {solution} Anna’s mother decides to trade her valuable possessions to get the things needed to make Anna a new coat.
  • Sequencing – Anna needs a new coat. Anna’s mother has no money and the stores are empty. Anna’s mother decided to give some things away to get Anna a new coat. They go to see a farmer to get wool. They go to a woman with a spinning wheel to turn the wool into yarn. Anna and her mother dye the yarn red. They take the yarn to a weaver. They take the yarn to a tailor and trade a teapot to get the cloth made into a coat. After picking up the coat, Anna looks at herself in all the windows as they walk home. Anna and her mother have a Christmas celebration and invite everyone that helped make Anna’s coat. Everyone had the best Christmas.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – It would make me so sad to give away my valuable possessions, but the only way for Anna to get a new coat was to give them away. If you needed a new coat and you had no money, what valuable possessions would you give away to get a new coat?
  • Summarize - {someone} Anna {wanted needed} needed a new coat {but} but they didn’t have any money {so} so Anna’s mother decided to give away some of her valuable possession to get Anna a new coat. Anna {finally} finally got her new coat.
  • Theme – Because of the generosity and kindness of others not only was Anna happy but so were her mother, the farmer, the spinner, the weaver, and the tailor. 
  • Visualize – Anna really needed a new coat because hers was too small. When Anna finally got her coat she loved it. Visualize yourself getting a new coat. What would your new coat look like?

Included in the packet:
Directions and Common Core Standards for each skill and strategy. Plus ideas for extending some of the activities.
* Vocabulary - 4 pages
* Asking Questions - 2 pages
* Author's Point of View - 2 pages
* Beginning, Middle, End - 5 pages
* Cause and Effect - 8 pages and 1 key
* Character Analysis - 4 pages
* Classify and Categorize - 5 pages
* Compare and Contrast - 6 pages
* Text-to-Self Connections - 3 pages
* Text-to-Text Connections - 2 pages
* Drawing Conclusions/Inferencing - 3 pages
* Fact and Opinion - 2 pages
* Main Idea and Details - 6 pages
* Making Predictions - 3 pages
* Problem/Solution - 5 pages
* Sequencing - 8 pages  plus 2 keys
* Plot - 2 pages
* Summarize - 1 page
* Story Map - 3 pages
* Strong Thought - 3 pages
* Visualize - 3 pages

You can get this packet from either one of my stores.
 Happy reading!

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