Franklin's Bad Day by Paulette Bourgeois - Teaching Ideas

Who doesn't love Franklin?  I sure do, and so did my kids. The great thing about Franklin is that there is a book to help with every situation and this one is no exception. This book deals with the feelings you have when a friend moves away. It starts out with Franklin being very grumpy after waking up. He doesn't want to eat, spills his juice and breaks the cup and doesn't want to go outside to play with Bear. He does end up going outside, only to have his sled stop in a dry patch on the hill. When he tried to go ice skating he couldn't because the pond was closed. Is there anything that will put Franklin in a better mood? His father figures out what is causing such a mood and helps Franklin figure out what to do to make things better.  Enjoy sharing and discussing this book with your kids as you discover the problem and solution to this horrible mood.

Here is some other info about this book that you might find useful.

Reading level: 3.0
Theme: friendship, feelings
Genre: animal stories

Suggested Vocabulary: cranky, bundled up, glided, slope, bare patch, stormed home, furious, scrapbook

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {before} Why is Franklin having a bad day? Did he crash on his sled? {during} Why was Franklin so cranky? How come Franklin didn't want to go play with Bear? Where did Otter move to? Why did Franklin throw all of his things on the floor in the house? {after} Why did writing letters to Otter make Franklin feel better?
  • author's point of view - 3rd person
  • author's purpose ­- entertain
  • beginning, middle, end - {beg} Franklin woke up in a grumpy mood and didn't want to do anything. {mid} Bear wanted Franklin to come out and play. They tried to sled down the hill but they got stuck on a dry patch. They tried to go ice skating but the ice was too thin. Franklin went home mad. He threw his stuff on the floor and kicked over his castle. Franklin started crying. {end} Franklin told his father that he missed Otter. Franklin spent the rest of the day writing letters and drawing pictures to send to Otter. Franklin finally felt better because he knew that they could still be friends.
  • cause and effect - Why was Franklin in such a bad mood? because his best friend Otter moved away.
  • characterization - describe Franklin
  • compare & contrast - compare you and Franklin
  • connections - text-to-self - Waking up in a bad mood. Missing a friend because they moved away. Going sledding. Wanting to go ice skating but can't because the ice was too thin. Being so mad you wanted or did cry. Writing a letter to someone you miss.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - Why was Franklin so mad that Otter moved away? {clues from text} Franklin started crying when he kicked his castle over and he told his dad that he couldn't rebuild it because Otter had moved away. {what I know} I know that when one of my friends moves away and I can't see them any more I get sad and sometimes mad. {conclusion} Franklin was really mad that Otter moved away because he won't be able to play with her again. Why did writing letters and drawing pictures for Otter make Franklin feel better? {clues from text} Franklin put envelopes in his scrapbook to Otter and wrote to Otter that if she writes to him then they can be friends forever. {what I know} I know that people can stay friends if they keep in contact with each other. {conclusion} I know that Franklin and Otter will be friends forever if they keep sending things to each other.
  • main idea & details - {MI} Franklin is in a bad mood. {Details} Franklin didn't want to eat breakfast. Franklin broke his cup. He couldn't find his marbles. A puzzle piece was missing. He didn't want to go play with Bear. Their sled hit a dry patch and the skating pond was closed. He kicked over his castle and started to cry.
  • predict - Why do you think Franklin was in a bad mood? What do you think will make Franklin be in a better mood?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Franklin is in a bad mood and everything is going wrong for him. {solution} Franklin made a scrapbook for his friend Otter.
  • sequencing - Franklin wakes up grumpy. Franklin doesn't want to eat breakfast. Franklin breaks his cup. Franklin doesn't want to go play with Bear. They walk by Otter's empty house. Their sled hits a dry spot and wont' go any further. They tried to go ice skating but the pond was closed. Franklin goes home and throws his stuff on the floor. Franklin kicks over his castle and starts to cry. Franklin makes a scrapbook for his friend Otter. Franklin thinks tomorrow is going to be a better day.
  • story elements - list title, author, theme, genre, characters, setting and BME
  • summarize - {somebody}Franklin {wanted} wanted his friend Otter to come back {but} but she moved away {so} so he was in a bad mood {then} then he decided to make her a scrapbook and {at the end} then at the end he realized that they would always be friends if they wrote to each other.
Enjoy the characterization freebie I created to go with this book. Have students write everything they know about Franklin and his bad day.

Click on the picture to download it.

 I also created a little larger packet of activities

Included in the packet:

5 reading skills/strategies/comprehension pages
Asking Questions - before, during & after
Character Change
True & False Comprehension
Short Answer Comprehension

2 word family/word sort activities with recording sheets
_ad & _ay Word Family Sort
Long a & Short a Word Sort

1 math (using time) activity with recording sheet.
What Time Is It?

Happy teaching!


  1. I LOVE Franklin!! Gonna go check it out :)

  2. Hi Jen,
    Franklin is great, so many great stories! I hope there is some info here that you can use.


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!