A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn - Teaching Ideas

Chester loves his mom and the kissing hands that she always gives him. One day, Chester sees his mom give his brother a Kissing Hand and he gets so upset. Chester thought Kissing Hands were just for him and was worried that she might run out of them. Mom explains to Chester that kisses are like stars, there are enough for both him and his brother. Mom then considers Chester and decides that because he is a big brother he should have something extra special. She gives him a kiss for his pocket so he can pull it out whenever he feels like he needs an extra kiss.

Below are a list of skills, strategies and ideas that you can use to create a meaningful lesson. I have also created a packet that includes most of what I have listed below.

Reading level: 2.4
Theme/subject: family, new life experiences
Genre: fiction

Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: tenderly, motherly tone, warm and inviting, in the blink of a moment, paled, settled in

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder what a pocket full of kisses means. {possible questions during} I wonder why Chester got so upset when his mom gave his brother a kissing hand. {possible questions after} I wonder if Chester’s brother will want a kiss for his pocket.  **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 uses very descriptive language. The illustrator drew beautiful pictures. Chester was happy when he got the kiss for his pocket. All of these things make an entertaining story.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Mrs. Raccoon gave Chester a Kissing Hand.  {most important event from middle} Chester saw Mrs. Raccoon giving Ronny a Kissing Hand and he got very upset.  {most important event from end} Mrs. Raccoon gave Chester a special kiss for his pocket.
  • Cause and effect – Why does Chester want to give back his brother? Because he plays with his toys, swings on his swing and reads his books. Why could Chester hear his mother’s words in his head? Because he pressed his Kissing Hand to his cheek. Why was Chester the happiest raccoon in the forest? Because he just got a Kissing Hand from his mom. Why did Chester start to cry? Because he saw his mother giving his brother a Kissing Hand. Why did Chester think his mom didn’t love him anymore? Because he thought his mother gave his brother HIS Kissing Hand. How come mom says she won’t run out of Kissing Hands? Because when someone loves you their kisses are always there, just like the sun-rays are always there. Why does Chester’s mom think he deserves something special?  Because he is the Big Brother. Why did Chester hug his mom at the end of the story? Because she just gave him a special kiss for his pocket.
  • Character analysis - describe Chester. Describe Chester’s mom. {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Compare & contrast – compare Chester and Ronny. Compare you and your brother or sister.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Not liking your brother. Thinking your mom doesn’t love you.  {possible text-to-text connections} Connect this with the Kissing Hand – both are about Chester, his mom and a Kissing Hand.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why does Chester think his mom doesn’t love him anymore when she gives Ronny a Kissing Hand? {text clues} Chester cries and asks his mom why she gave Ronny his Kissing Hand. {what I know} If my mom gives my brother (or sister) the same something special she gave me, it doesn’t feel so special anymore. {my conclusion} I think Chester thought the Kissing Hand was just for him so when she gave Ronny one it was like giving his own and it wasn’t special anymore.
  • Fact & opinion{fact} Chester’s mom gave him a Kissing Hand. Chester wanted to give Ronny back. Chester was sad when he saw his mom give Ronny a Kissing Hand. Kissing Hands will never run out. Mom gave Chester a kiss for his pocket. {opinion} Chester is mean to Ronny. Ronny is a pest. Chester is wrong for thinking his mom doesn’t love him anymore. I think Chester will lose his pocket kiss. I think mom is wrong and the sun will run out of sun-rays.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} The story is mostly about Chester being upset that his mom gave Ronny a Kissing Hand. {details} Chester cried when his mom gave his brother a Kissing Hand. Chester asked if his mom didn’t love him anymore. Mom explained to Chester that she would never run out of Kissing Hands.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when mom explained about the sunrays and the stars.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is about? Do you think they will give Ronny back? What do you think a Kissing Hand is? Why did Chester start to cry? What do you think the story about the stars is going to tell Chester? What was Chester right about? What do you think mom will give Chester as his something extra special?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} Chester doesn’t think Ronny should have a Kissing Hand. {solution} Mom tells Chester about the sunrays and the stars then she gives him a special kiss for his pocket.
  • Sequencing – Chester wants to get rid of Ronny. Mom gives Chester a Kissing Hand. Chester sees mom give Ronny a Kissing Hand. Chester gets upset. Mom tells the sunray and star story to Chester. Mom gives Chester a special kiss for his pocket.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Strong thought – Mom decides that Chester does need something extra special so she gives him a kiss for his pocket. When do you think Chester might need that extra kiss in his pocket?
  • Summarize - {someone} Chester {wanted} wanted to get rid of Ronny {but} but mom said no {so} so mom gave Chester a Kissing Hand {then} then she gave Ronny a Kissing Hand. {finally} Chester was so upset about Ronny’s Kissing Hand his mom finally gave him a special kiss for his pocket.
  • Theme – moms have enough love for all their kids. 
  • Visualize – Mom gave Chester a Kissing Hand and a kiss for his pocket to help make him feel better. What does your mom do or say to you – either now or when you were younger – to make you feel better?


Happy Reading!


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!