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Specific Novel & Picture Book Activities - "B"


The Bear Family

by Dieter Betz

  1. Before reading aloud, split the book up into three readable parts: beginning, middle, and end.
  2. Hand out three pieces of paper and have students title them with what grizzly bears eat, what kind of an environment grizzly bears like to live in, why can grizzly bears be dangerous.
  3. When finished reading aloud a section that you laid out have your students fill as many of the pages as possible with appropriate facts that they learned from the section. Repeat the process until the book is finished.
  4. Make a class chart compiling all of the facts.


Beethoven Lives Upstairs?

by Barbara Nichol

What happens to Beethoven after he moves out? Write one more letter from the point of view of Christoph to his uncle.



by Roald Dahl

Read this book aloud to your class.

  1. Read one chapter at a time twice a day. Each chapter is very short and ends on a suspenseful note. Every day, before the first reading of the day, summarize what happened in the two chapters previously by asking the class. Record the major events by drawing a picture time line on chart paper.
  2. The chapter titled "Dreams" is quite a long one, so before beginning to read, prepare the kids by telling them that the chapter is about the good dreams and nightmares that the BFG collected, and after reading the chapter we will do an activity about our own dreams. "So, while we are reading this chapter, think about the dreams that you have had."

  3. After reading the reading this chapter ask your students to:
    • Draw a nightmare that they have had.
    • Draw a good dream that they have had.
    • Write down as many words as they can to describe these dreams, don't worry about the spellings.
    • Share the dreams with the class.
  4. When the book is finished, split your class into groups of three or four and get each of the groups to decide which one bad giant they would like to draw (Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, Manhugger, Childchewer, Meatdripper, Maidmasher, Bloodbottler, or Butcher Boy) , majority decides. Draw an outline about 10 ft. tall, and each group can work together to paint it in. Also draw a BFG outline that the whole class can fill in as they have spare time.
  5. Display the giants.


The Big Fat Enormous Lie

by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Let Go of Your Big Fat Enormous Lie

  1. Draw an outline of the monster that David McPhail has created and photocopy enough for your class.
  2. Have students write down a lie that they would like to be forgiven for in the stomach of the monster.
  3. The students can then give the picture to whoever they told the lie to.


Big Sarah's Little Boots

by Paulette Bourgeois

Make rain with the whole class. Begin by gathering students in a circle (preferably not on carpet) and explaining and practicing how each of the sounds are made. Wind is created by rubbing your hands in a circular motion on the floor. Small rain drops are made with the fingertips striking the floor softly, then a little harder. Finally comes the heavy rain made by all the fingers on each hand hitting the floor quickly together.
Place students into three groups (wind, small rain drops, heavy rain). Have each sound group mixed together, rather than in separate groups.
Each group is responsible for their sound. Signal to the students when their group should join in (ie. wind first, then small rain drops). Each group should continue to make their sound even after another sound joins in.
Variation: Divide class into four groups: hand rubbers, one finger clappers, four finger clappers, and thigh clappers.


The Book That Jack Wrote

by Jon Scieszka

On enough index cards for each member of your class, write an object a name and an action. Copy the pattern in this book by inserting whatever is on the card. eg: This is the.......that .......,..... and continue the story from there.


The Boy Who Was Followed Home

by Margaret Mahy

Think about the way you walk home from school. Now, if a hippopotamus was to follow you from school, would you take any detours to avoid traffic or small paths? Draw a map of the streets and paths that you would walk on to get you and your new friend safely home. Colour your map and add in any significant buildings and places, so people can recognize your map when they look at it.


A Busy Year

by Leo Lionni

Read this book at the beginning of the year. Have a tree made out of butcher paper displayed on your wall, and every time a new season/holiday comes up decorate the tree appropriately.