Monday, July 15, 2013

Never Talk to Strangers by Irma Joyce - Teaching Ideas

Never Talk to Strangers by Irma Joyce is a great book for the, sometimes scary topic, about strangers. Joyce wrote the story in rhyme and the illustrator uses animals to portray strangers, both of which help to alleviate any chance of scaring younger students. What I find so great about the strangers being animals is that it helps students to visualize and infer what kind of people those animals, or strangers, could be and or look like. 

Joyce also does a great job of showing that it is okay to talk to some strangers, like people your parents know, or friends of friends. It helps students to understand that just because someone is a stranger, doesn't mean they shouldn't talk to them.

As I was writing up this review my mind just went crazy with the topic of strangers and using the reading skills and strategies to help classify them, compare them, and write about them - so I created a small packet.

Listed below are the skills and strategies and ideas that I followed to create my packet, so feel free to use the information to create your own.

Reading level: 5.4
Theme/subject: safety
Genre: fiction

Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: trapeze, roan

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story will be about. I wonder what kind of strangers will be in the story. {possible questions during} {possible questions after} I wonder if I will remember what to do if I run into a stranger. **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this (him, his).
  • Author's purpose – entertaining information {evidence} The strangers are animals. The story is written in rhyme and the information about what to do when a stranger comes around is good. All of this together makes an entertaining informative story.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Information about what to do when a stranger comes around. {most important event from middle} {most important event from end} Information on people that are not strangers even though you don’t know them.
  • Classify & categorize – classify people categorize strangers to not talk to and stranger that are okay to talk to.
  • Compare & contrast – strangers and people that you don’t know but are not strangers.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why are some people strangers that are okay to talk to? {text clues} The dad was introducing the girl to kangaroo that he knew and it was okay for her to talk to her. {what I know} I know that my mom and dad know some people that I don’t know. {my conclusion} I think some people can be strangers to you but not to your parents so it is okay to talk to those people because your parents know them.
  • Fact & opinion{facts} A stranger is someone you don’t know. It is important to not talk to strangers. It is okay to talk to strangers that your mom or dad introduces you to. You can run into strangers anywhere. {opinion} All strangers are bad. You should not talk to anyone that is a stranger. Strangers are only at the park.  You should never trust a stranger.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} The story is mostly about different kinds of strangers. {details} You can run into a stranger at a toy store. You can run into a stranger while you are hiking. Your father can introduce you to a stranger that is okay to talk to.
  • Problem & solution - {problem} What should you do when you meet a stranger.  {solution} Never talk to strangers.
  • Strong thought – There are many people that seem nice but they are still strangers. Why is it so important to not talk to them even if they are nice?
  • Theme – Never talk to strangers.
  • Visualize – Visualize a time you met a stranger. What were you doing? What did the stranger say to you? What did you do or say to the stranger? Should you have done something different?

You can pick this packet up from either one of my stores.
Happy Planning!


  1. Thanks, Shawna. I don't have this one. Putting it on my wish list now!

    1. Thanks Sara, it is a good one.
      Enjoy your week!

  2. Looks adorable. Thanks for another fresh look at a fabulous find!


    1. Always good to stock up on "issue" kind of books, you never know which ones will hit home with the kiddos.
      I hope you are enjoying your summer!


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