Thursday, August 30, 2012

Curious George Rides a Bike by H.A. Rey - Teaching Ideas


In this 1952 book George shows off his bicycle tricks which lands him a spot in the animal show. He is so excited to be in the show, but his curiosity gets the better of him which results in him being cut. Bad little monkey aren't aloud to perform. George is so sad, but never fear, he saves a baby bear that escapes from his cage. His bravery and quick thinking have him back on his bike performing in front of the entire town, even the man with the yellow hat.

Lots of skills and strategies to help you create a lesson your students will love!

If you need a little extra help, I have a free questioning activity available and a whole packet of stuff just ready to help you out!

Reading level: 2.9
Theme: Curiosity
Genre: Humorous Fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: wild bronco, fleet, admiral, jolt, fanfare, bugle

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} Where does George get the bike? Where did George learn to ride a bike? {possible questions during} How did George learn how to make a boat? Why did the man with the yellow hat go to the animal show without George?  {possible questions after} Was George sad to leave the show?
  • author's point of view - third person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertain {evidence} George could ride his bicycle backwards. All the frogs and ducks got into the boats that George made. The ostrich was making horn noises because the horn was half way down its throat. All these things are silly and make the story entertaining.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} The two men from the animal show found George and asked him to be in the show. {most important event from middle} George alerted everyone that the baby bear was out and on the loose. {most important event from end} They asked George to be back in the show because he saved the baby bears life.
  • cause and effect - Why was it a special day? because it had been three years since the man with the yellow hat took George home from the jungle. Why could George do all sorts of tricks on his bicycle? because monkey's are good at that. Why did George not deliver the papers to the other side of the street? because he wanted to know what the river was like. Why did George make boats with the rest of the papers? because he thought it would be fun to have a boat of his own. Why did George's front wheel on his bicycle get out of shape? because he was watching the boats and not the road and he hit a rock. Why did the two men stop and take George with them? because they wanted George to ride his bike and do tricks in their animal show. Why did George give the ostrich his bugle? because he was curious if the ostrich would eat it. Why did the men tell George he had to go home? because George was a naughty monkey and naughty monkeys couldn't be in the show. Why did George sound the bugle? because the baby monkey got out. Why was George let back in the show? because he saved the baby bear.
  • characterization - describe George {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • compare & contrast - two of the Curious George books
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Getting a new bike. Being able to do tricks on your bike. Being able to make a paper boat. Doing something good that makes everyone very happy. {possible text-to-text connections} connect this book to any of the Curious George books.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - How do you think George felt after saving the baby bear? {text clues} George has a smile on his face as he is handing the baby bear down. The book also says that everybody cheered and then the men let George back into the show. {what I know} If I do something good and people cheer and are happy then I feel very proud. {my conclusion} I think George felt very happy and proud that he saved the baby bear.
  • fact & opinion - {facts} It had been three years since the man in the yellow hat brought George home. George knew how to ride a bike. George and the man with the yellow hat were going to see the animal show. The wheel on George's bike got bent. George lowered the baby bear down in the newspaper sack. George got to ride his bike in the animal show. {opinions} Three years is a long time. George is the best at doing tricks on a bicycle. It is a lot of fun sailing boats. Ostrich's are mean. George is very smart.
  • plot - the turning point in the story was when George alerted everyone that the baby bear escaped from his cage.
  • predict - What do you think George will do on his bicycle? Do you think George will keep close to the house like the man told him to? Do you think George will do a good job delivering all of the papers? What do you think George will do with the papers he didn't deliver? What do you think George will do with is broken bike? Do you think George will try to feed the ostrich? Do you think George will still be in the show? If so, what will he do to be in the show? Do you think George can save the baby bear? How? Do you think George will miss the show?
  • problem & solution - {problem} George was a naughty monkey because he fed the bugle to the ostrich, now he can't be in the show. {solution} George is able to be in the show because he helps save the baby bear.
  • sequencing - It is a very special day and the man with the yellow hat gives George a bicycle. 
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
Click here it get this FREE questioning download (be advised, this download has the sheets for all for of the Curious George books I have reviewed, so you only need to download it once.)  You can get it from my Teachers Notebook or TpT store.

You can find this packet in either my Teachers Notebook or TpT store.

For this book I created a science inquiry activity included in the above packet (shown in the picture below). Students will follow the boat building instructions in the book and then test to see if their ability to follow directions resulted in a boat that can float.
































Click here to see ALL the preview pages for the packet.


Coming soon Curious George Gets a Medal.


Happy reading!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Curious George by H.A. Rey - Teaching Ideas




Curious George has got to be the cutest monkey out there! He is lovable and oh so curious. This 1941 classic still brings joy to children today, however I did just read that people are wanting to "ban" this book from children because George smokes a pipe. I am not sure that most children even know what a pipe is?!? The way I see it, this would be a great opportunity to talk about "NO SMOKING", but most kids I know would be the first ones to talk about how bad smoking is. Regardless of the smoking, this is a great story.

This story has George being found by the man in the yellow hat and then taken to the zoo. Along the way curious little George gets into a bit of trouble. He tricks the fire departments and gets thrown in jail because of that. He soon escapes from jail and floats over the city with the help of a bunch of balloons that he has taken from a balloon guy. George finally lands on a traffic light, which causes all sorts of problems with the traffic below, but to his relief, the man with the yellow hat is there to save him.

This book is a great stand alone read aloud but there are many teaching opportunities as well. I hope the below information gives you some ideas and questions to create a memorable lesson.

If by chance you are too busy and need a little extra help I have created a few activities to help make your planning a bit easier.

Reading level: 2.4
Theme: Curiosity
Genre: Humorous Fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: Africa, overboard, life belt, fascinated, watchman, whisked, gusts

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} What will George be curious about? What kind of trouble will George get into in this book? {possible questions during} Why did the man with the yellow hat take George away from his home? Did the man with the yellow hat know George got arrested? Can the firemen really put someone in jail for calling when there is no fire? {possible questions after} Will George get in trouble because he escaped from jail?
  • author's point of view - third person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertain{evidence} George was in jail, monkeys don't get put in jail. George flew through the sky with a bunch of balloons, that never happens. George smoked a pipe after dinner, monkeys don't smoke. All these things are silly so the story is entertaining.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning}George was taken from the jungle to the man with the yellow hat's home. {most important event from middle} George escaped from jail. {most important event from end} The man with the yellow hat found George floating through the air. He collected him and then delivered him to the zoo.
  • cause and effect - Why did the man with the yellow hat take George from his home? because he thought he was  a nice little monkey. Why did George fall into the ocean? because he tried to fly like the birds. Why did the Fire Department come to the house? because George played with the phone and dialed the Fire Department. Why did George get put in jail? because he fooled the Fire Department. Why was George able to escape from jail? because the watchman was trying to get George off of the window and the bench tipped up and the watchman fell over. Why was George floating through the air? because he grabbed a bunch of balloons and the wind whisked him away. Why was George frightened? because he was floating higher and higher over the city. Why did the traffic get all mixed up? because George landed on the top of the traffic light. Why did the man with the yellow hat take George to the zoo. because that was George's new home.
  • characterization - describe George {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • compare & contrast - compare and contrast the zoo and the jungle.
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Moving from one place to another. Accidentally calling the Fire Department (911).
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - How did George feel about living in the zoo? {text clues} The story says that the zoo was a nice place for George to live. The story also shows George smiling while in the zoo. {what I know} If someplace is a nice place to live and it makes you smile then I think I would be happy to live there. {my conclusion} I think George was happy living in the zoo.
  • fact & opinion - {Facts} George got caught by the man in the yellow hat. George was a curious monkey. George was sad that he was leaving his home. George fell overboard. George called the Fire Department. {Opinions} George was a naughty monkey. Jail is a sad place to be. Monkeys like to have fun. George was a thief. George is afraid of heights.
  • main idea & details - {main idea} George is a curious monkey. {details} George was curious about the yellow hat. George was curious about the phone. George was curious about the balloons.
  • plot - the turning point in the story was when George escaped from jail and grabbed the handful of balloons, floated across the sky and landed on the traffic signal.
  • predict - Do you think the man with the yellow hat will capture George? What kind of trouble do you think George will cause on the ship? Do you think George will fall into the water? Who do you think George called on the phone? What will happen to George when the Fire Department gets there? Will George ever get out of jail? What do you think will happen to the balloons? Will George ever come down from floating in the air? Where is the man with the yellow hat going to take George?
  • problem & solution - {problem} George is a curious little monkey that causes many problems. {solution} Put George in the zoo to live.
  • sequencing - The man with the yellow hat catches George. George and the man with the yellow hat go back to the ship. George falls off the ship and then gets saved. George and the man get off the boat and go to the mans house. George ate dinner, smoked a pipe and got very tired. George went to bed. George played with the phone and called the Fire Department. The Fire Department came to the house and arrested George for tricking them. George escaped from jail. George grabbed a bunch of balloons and floated over the city. George landed on the traffic light. The man in the yellow hat grabbed George and took him to the zoo.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution. 
  • summarize- {someone}The man in the yellow hat {wanted} wanted to take George home to the zoo {but} but George got himself put into jail {so} so he  had to escape. {then} After he escaped he took a handful of balloons and landed on a traffic light.{finally} The man in the yellow hat finally got George to the zoo. 
Here is a freebie packet for reading strategy Questioning. The packet contains questioning pages for the books Curious George, Curious George Rides a Bike, Curious George Gets a Medal and Curious George Goes to the Hospital.

FREEBIE available in either my Teachers Notebook or TpT store.



I have also created a packet (for the 4 books listed above) that includes:
  • Characterization
  • Summarizing
  • Text to Self Connections
  • Text to Text Connections
  • Short answer comprehension
  • True false comprehension
  • Story Map
  • Vocabulary cards
  • 1 writing activity
  • 1 number recognition 1-20
  • 1 science inquiry
  • 1 write the room activity
Packet available in either my Teachers Notebook or TpT store.





For this book the special activity I created is the Fire Safety Write the Room with word find sheet - pictured above. This activity can be used during your fire safety unit, or just as a supplemental activity to use with this book. There are 12 fire safety word that your students will need to find in your room and then record them on the word find sheet. Once they have found all the words they will then search for them in the word find. FUN!

Coming soon, Curious George Rides a Bike.


Happy reading!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm Guest Posting Today!

Adrianne from The Tutor House has asked me to guest post on her blog today. I hope you stop on by and read about comic books and collect the freebie I have to go with it. While you are there, if you haven't explored The Tutor House, take some time to do that, she has some wonderful ideas, activities and freebies available.


The Tutor House

Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back To School Expo




Through the hard work and continued teacher support Teachers Notebook has allowed me to be a  proud sponsor of the Back To School Expo.

 So, to help get you motivated and inspired for the start of the school year I encourage you to visit the
 Back to School Expo August 25 to September 1.  

Head on over to the Virtual Teaching Expo site (click the logo below) to buy your ticket, you will not be disappointed.

The Virtual Teaching Expo will feature:

  • Reading Success by Annie Moffatt from The Moffatt Girls
  • Technology Tools for Teachers by Cara Whitehead from Teaching...My Calling
  • Classroom Decorating 101 by Melanie Ralbusky from Schoolgirl Style
  • Classroom Environment and Back to School Procedures by Eric and Brian from Wise Guys
  • Creating a Fun Math Environment with Math Journals by Yvonne Crawford from MixMinder

This is an AMAZING deal!
 For the $10 contribution you will get the following:
  • A ticket to the event ($19.95 value)
  • 30% discount on hundreds of items
  • Well over $100 worth of items in the Goodie Bag (including Aaron's Hair from my TN store)

  •  Two teachers will get tickets to the event for free - how cool is that!!

Happy learning!

Monday, August 20, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague - Teaching Ideas


One of my favorite books to read at the beginning of the school year. It is a fun book to read because of the rhyming and the pictures are so vivid. I like to use this book as an example of how exciting a story could be when you use your imagination. I will usually have my kids add some imagination into their own story about what they did for summer vacation. When done they read their story to the class and we all guess what parts are true and what parts they made up. It is a lot of fun and makes the writing process "not so boring". 

Along with the writing there are plenty of reading skills and strategies that work great with this book. I have included a FREE story element activity that can be used with this book after reading. Not only can you use it with the book but your students can fill it out as a starting point for their own story - who are their characters, what is their setting and what was the problem and how was it solved.

Reading level: 2.5
Theme: Imagination
Genre: Humorous Fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: westbound, plains, wrangler, cowhand, stampede, matador, buckaroo

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} Did the cowboy save the boy? {possible questions during} Was Wallace afraid when he was taken by the cowboys? Is Wallace ever going to get to his aunts house? Why did all the cowboys hide when the cows were stampeding?  {possible questions after} Is that what Wallace really did for summer vacation? Why can Wallace hardly wait for summer vacation?
  • author's point of view - First person point of view. Wallace Bleff, the main character is telling the story.
  • author's purpose -  entertain {evidence} The story is told in rhyme. The illustrator drew a phone booth in the middle of the desert. The story about being taken by cowboys is all made up, Wallace's imagination. All these things are silly which make an entertaining story.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Wallace was take by a bunch of cowboys. {most important event from middle} Wallace learned some cowboy tricks - roping, riding, and making fire with sticks. {most important event from end} Wallace saved everyone at the picnic from the stampeding cattle.
  • cause and effect - Why was Wallace telling this story? because he had to write a story about how he spent his summer vacation. Why was Wallace captured by cowboys? because they needed a new cowboy, the last one quit. Why did Wallace write to Aunt Fern? so she wouldn't worry. Why did Aunt Fern call? because the round up was over and she was having a barbecue.  Why did the cowboys hide behind a tree at the barbeque? because a stampede of cows was coming. Why did Wallace grab the red tablecloth? because he used it like a matador would to scare the stampede of cows away.
  • characterization - describe Wallace {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • compare & contrast - your summer to Wallace's summer
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Riding a horse. Visiting family during the summer. Having to write a story at school about what you did this summer.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - Do you think the teacher believes Wallaces story? {text clues}Throughout the story the teacher keeps looking at Wallace like she is not quite believing Wallace's story. {my conclusion} I don't think Wallace's teacher believe all of Wallace's story.
  • plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when the round up was done and Aunt Fern called and invited everyone over for a barbeque.
  • predict - What do you think the cowboys are going to do with Wallace?  The story say's "there is more to being a cowboy than boots and a hat..." what do you think that means? Why do you think all the cowboys hid behind the tree instead of trying to stop the cows from stampeding? What do you think Wallace is going to bring in for show and tell?
  • problem & solution - There are a number of  "problems" in this story, here are a few you can talk about. 1. {problem} Wallace had to write "another" story about how he spent his summer vacation. {solution} Instead of making it a boring story Wallace used his imagination and wrote an exciting tale about his summer vacation. 2. {problem} Wallace was taken by cowboys and couldn't get to his aunts house. {solution} He decided to help the cowboys and wrote his aunt a letter so she wouldn't worry. 3. {problem} There was a stampede of cows at the barbeque. {solution} Wallace grabbed a red tablecloth and used it like a matador to scare the cows away.
  • sequencing - Wallace headed out west to visit his aunt. Wallace was captured by cowboys. The cattle boss asked Wallace to help them and Wallace said yes. Wallace wrote to his aunt so she wouldn't worry. Wallace was given new cowboy clothes. He learned to rope, ride and make fire with sticks. Aunt Fern called with the roundup was over and invited everyone to a barbeque. They ate delicious food and listened to music. Someone yelled "They're gonna stampede!". Wallace grabbed a red tablecloth and used it like a matador to scare the cattle away. All the cowboys cheered because Wallace was a true buckaroo.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution. 
  • summarize - {someone} Wallace's parents {wanted} wanted him to visit his aunt {but} he got captured by cowboys who asked him to help. {so} So he got some new clothes and learned some new cowboy tricks.  {then} When the roundup was all finished Wallace's aunt called and invited them all to a barbeque. {finally} At the barbeque there was a stampede and Wallace saved the day!
Download FREE from my TpT  or Teachers Notebook store.


I have also created a True False Comprehension Game to be used after reading this book.






You can find this game in either my TpT or Teachers Notebook store.

Happy teaching!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top 10 Back to School Books


Yikes! Summer has come and gone and I have not done as much as I hoped to do. I was on vacation a good part of the summer, which left little time for reviewing and creating! I have had time to blog stock however and I am quite jealous of all your creatively inspiring classrooms! For those of you that have started back to school already, I am sorry :( I am sorry you are working while the rest of us are playing working hard getting ready for school to start. No, seriously, I hope the start of your school year was uneventful and is running smoothly!

I know most of you have your standard beginning of school year books that you like to pull out and read like The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn or Chrysanthemum by Keven Henkes or First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg but I thought I would throw a few more your way. Here is my top 10 list of books for the start of a new school year.




In the book This School Year Will Be the Best is about students on the first day of school being asked to share what they would most like to have happen during the school year. The responses range from having a skateboard day to not wanting to be a vegetable in the school play. At the end of the story the students get to draw their day and as the story comes to a close the students think that this will be best school year yet!





A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue is a great story to read the first week of school. You can use this story as a springboard into the difference between tattling and telling in your classroom and the consequences for constant tattling.  Not only does this book have a great lesson but the kids will love the story!






The Night Before First Grade is a wonderful story that is told in rhyme (as all the "Night Before" books are) and deals with the realities of being nervous on your first day of school.

Penny is very excited and nervous for her first day of first grade and is okay knowing that her best friend will be with her, until she gets to school and realizes that her best friend is in another class. As the day comes to a close Penny has had a great day in first grade and overcame her first grade jitters!





Big Bad Bruce is one big bad bully. This story is about Bruce, a bully that likes to pick on things that are smaller than he is, until the day he meets Roxy the witch. Roxy teaches Bruce a valuable lesson about being a big mean bully.

This is another great book that can lead to a class discussion on being mean or a bully and the consequences of such behavior.








Mean Jean is the recess queen and nobody is allowed to do anything until she does. This book gives wonderful examples of how not to behave on the playground, and let's face it we have all come across a "Mean Jean" at least once in our life. This story will be a great lead into talking about playground rules and consequences for "Mean Jean" types of behavior.






Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon is a delightful story about a little girls determination to prove that she can do anything she sets her mind to, despite all the teasing and put downs. This book is great for the start of school because after reading it you can talk about determination and what that means to your students when it comes to doing something a that might be too difficult for them. If Molly Lou Melon can do it, so can they!






Mind Your Manners In School is a collection of stories about all different kinds of behaviors and manners that are appropriate for school. Stories such as friendship, sharing, how to borrow and picking up your things after working. The best one is being quiet when the teacher is giving a lesson :)  With this book you are sure to find a story for a behavior or situation that needs to be addressed in your room.





What's in a name? Everything - meaning, tradition, heritage, honor and sometimes shame. Your name is who you are and when this little girl is afraid to tell her Korean name, one little boy in her class finds out her name and its beautiful meaning and talks her into keeping that name and not any of the names in the name jar. This is a great story for the start of school. You can have your students find out what their name means or why their parents picked the name they did. You can talk about how you are uniquely you and your name is part of what makes you unique and special.




All little boys and girls want to have what everyone else has. This story, Those Shoes helps show that not everyone gets to have the newest "thing" and there is a big difference between "want" and "need". This book can lead to great discussions on acceptance - being friends with someone even if they don't have the newest "thing" and what it means to need something as opposed to wanting something.








Reading Makes You Feel Good, isn't that such a true statement! This is a great book to kick off the school year with just to show your students how important reading is going to be and how it can make them feel good. Showing the kids how reading can be a positive in their life rather than a burden they will (hopefully) have a good year reading and exploring their books.








I hope I have listed something that piques your interest or reminds you of a book you have but haven't pulled out and read in a while. Like I said above, we all have our old standby's, but isn't it fun to find something new?

Let me know of a good book that is not your "typical" read that you enjoy using during the first few weeks of school.

Happy reading!





Thursday, August 9, 2012

TpT Sale!

Click on picture to go to my store :)


I am linking up with Wild About Teaching to spread the word about a H*U*G*E TpT sale. The sale starts Sunday August 12th and ends Monday August 13th.

Wild about Teaching!

This is the perfect opportunity for you to purchase all those goodies that are on your wish list from all your favorite teacher sellers and to try out some new teacher sellers that you might not be so familiar with. With up to 28% off you can't go wrong!
 
Click on picture to go to my store :)

I will have all items in my store on sale so I hope you find something fun for you and your students to use this school year!

Happy shopping!

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