Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll - Teaching Tips

The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll teaching tips from The Picture Book Teacher.


Once again Steven Kroll doesn't disappoint with this fun little story of Desmond and Clayton making the biggest valentine ever. They do however run into a little problem which in the end they figure out. Your students will love this Valentine's Day book!

Below are some teaching ideas to help make this a meaningful read aloud.

Reading level: 2.1
Theme/subject: Valentine’s Day,
Genre: holiday, getting along, conflict resolution

Suggested vocabulary/phrases: glared at each other, mischievous, lace doily

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions – these are just possible questions or wondering from either the student or teacher
    • Before
      • I wonder what the story is going to be about.
      • I wonder what the biggest valentine is going to look like.
      • I wonder if the two mice on the front make the valentine together.
    • During
      • I wonder why they got so upset with each other.
      • I wonder why they tore the valentine apart.
      • I wonder if they will be friends again.
      • I wonder if they will each give their teacher the valentine they made at home.
      • I wonder if the teacher is going to like the new valentine.
    • After
      • I wonder if the boys will argue like that again.
  **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – 3rd person
  • Author's purpose – entertain
    • Evidence
      • Mice don’t talk or go to school.
      • Mice don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.
  • Beginning, middle, end – the most important event from each        
    • Beginning
      • Desmond and Clayton worked together to make their teacher a valentine but then they started to argue about what it looked like.
    • Middle
      • Desmond and Clayton made their own valentine at home but soon realized that their dad and uncle were right. A valentine made together was better than a valentine made on their own.
    • End -  
      • Desmond and Clayton made up and together made the biggest valentine ever to give to their teacher.
  • Cause and effect  
1.      Why did Clayton and Desmond decide to work together to make a card for Mrs. Mousely? Because it was Valentine’s Day.
2.      Why did Desmond and Clayton glare at each other when they were making the valentine? Because they were arguing about the way the valentine looked and what each other did on it.
3.      Why did Clayton and Desmond tear the valentine in half? Because they were mad at each other.
4.      How come Clayton and Desmond didn’t like the valentine they were making on their own? Because they realized their friend was good at the parts they were not.
5.      How come Clayton and Desmond started talking to each other again? Because Desmond bumped into Clayton and they fell down.
6.      Why did Clayton and Desmond give each other high fives? Because they just finished making the biggest valentine ever.
  • Character analysis - describe Clayton, describe Desmond {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character, how others think/see the character}
  • Character changes –
    • In the beginning – The mice were friends and were working on a valentine together
    • In the middle – The mice were mad at each other because they didn’t like what the other did on the valentine they were working on together.
    • In the end – The mice were friends again because they realized working together they were better.
  • Compare & contrast
    • Clayton and Desmond
    • A valentine you made to a the  valentine Clayton and Desmond made
  • Connections
    • Text-to-self   
      • Making things with your friends.
      • Not liking what your friend is doing to your project.
    • Text-to-text  
      • This book to any for Steven Kroll’s Clayton and Desmond books.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why do you think Clayton got so upset about the way the valentine was turning out?
    • Text clues – Both Clayton and Desmond were working on the valentine together doing what they wanted without a plan or taking about what they were going to do.
    • What I know – Sometimes when people work together and they don’t have a plan, the other person might have a different idea in mind and therefore not like what the other one has done.
    • My conclusion – I think Clayton got so upset about the way the valentine turned out because his idea of what it should look like was not what happened.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing - Why do you think making the second valentine went better than making the first?
    • Text clues – the first time they made a valentine they didn’t have a plan, but the second time they made a plan.
    • What I know – I know having a plan works better than not having a plan.
    • My conclusion – I think Clayton’s and Desmond’s second valentine worked better because they came up with a plan that they both agreed upon.
  • Fact & opinion – about or within the story
    • Facts
      • Desmond and Clayton are friends
      • Desmond and Clayton make a valentine together for their teacher.
      • Desmond and Clayton get in an argument about the valentine.
      • Desmond and Clayton make up and make the biggest valentine ever.
    • Opinion
      • Desmond and Clayton shouldn’t have torn the first valentine apart.
      • Clayton shouldn’t have gotten so mad a Desmond.
      • Desmond and Claytons new plan was the best.
      • The valentines that Desmond and Clayton really weren’t very good.
  • Main idea & details
    • Main idea – The story is mostly about Clayton and Desmond making a valentine for their teacher.
    • Details
      1. Desmond and Clayton tried to make a valentine together but then it ended up torn in half.
      2. Desmond and Clayton tried to make valentines by themselves but they weren’t turning out very good.
      3. Desmond and Clayton finally came up with a plan and they made the biggest valentine ever.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story was when Clayton and Desmond came up with a plan before they made their valentine.
  • Predict
    1. What do you think the story is going to be about?
    2. Do you think Desmond and Clayton are going to make up?
    3. What do you think their valentine will look like this time?
    4. Do you think Clayton and Desmond will make plans from now on?
  • Problem & solution
    • Problem – The problem was that Clayton and Desmond didn’t come up with a plan when they started their first valentine.
    • Solution – Desmond and Clayton solved their problem by making a plan before they started their second valentine.
  • Sequencing
    1. Desmond and Clayton’s teacher has the class make valentines for Valentine’s Day.
    2. Clayton and Desmond work together making a valentine in class.
    3. Clayton starts to put down what Desmond has done on the valentine.
    4. Clayton and Desmond tear their valentine apart.
    5. Both Clayton and Desmond make their own valentine at home.
    6. Both Clayton and Desmond don’t like the valentine they made at home.
    7. Clayton and Desmond don’t sit next to each other on the bus.
    8. Desmond tripped on the bus stairs and bumped into Clayton.
    9. Clayton and Desmond decide to make a new valentine.
    10. Clayton and Desmond come up with a plan.
    11. Clayton and Desmond carried their valentine into the classroom and the class cheered and Mrs. Mousely was delighted.                     
  • Story elements
    • Title – The Biggest Valentine Ever
    • Author – Steven Kroll
    • Characters – Clayton and Desmond
    • Setting -  school and home
    • beginning, middle, end
      • Desmond and Clayton worked together to make their teacher a valentine but then they started to argue about what it looked like.
      • Desmond and Clayton made their own valentine at home but soon realized that their dad and uncle were right. A valentine made together was better than a valentine made on their own.
      • Desmond and Clayton made up and together made the biggest valentine ever to give to their teacher.
    • problem & solution
      • Problem – The problem was that Clayton and Desmond didn’t come up with a plan when they started their first valentine.
      • Solution – Desmond and Clayton solved their problem by making a plan before they started their second valentine.
  • Strong thought – someplace in the story that the reader has a strong reaction for example an “I knew it”, or “Don’t do it” type of moment while reading.
    • Clayton starts putting down what Desmond has done on the valentine. What would you say to Clayton about what he is saying?
  • Summarize
    • Someone – Clayton and Desmond
    • Wanted – wanted to make a valentine for their teacher
    • But – but they then started to argue about it
    • So – so they ripped it in half
    • Then – then they decided to make a plan which
    • Finally – finally helped them make a great valentine.
  • Theme – the lesson, message or moral of the story
    • Having a plan makes working together much better.
  • Visualize – what do YOU picture…
    • Desmond and Clayton got to make a valentine for their teacher. Visualize what your valentine would look like if you were going to make one for your teacher.
Here are some One Pager activities I created to go with this book.
One Pager activities for the book The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll.
You can find these One Pagers in the growing Holiday Bundle HERE. This growing bundle already has 6 holiday books included and will continue to grow as I find more holiday books.
Growing Holiday Bundle filled with One Pager activities for your favorite holiday books.
Happy reading!

1 comment :

  1. This is such a helpful post for one of my favorite books. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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