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Specific Novel & Picture Book Activities - "D"


The Dragons Are Singing Tonight

by Jack Prelutsky, Illustrated by Peter Sis

The Dragons are singing Tonight is a wonderful compilation of poems about dragons written by Jack Prelutsky. The poems are great to read aloud, and even very young children will get a kick out of the fast pace of many of the poems. Additionally, Sis's illustrations are beautiful and mysterious. I had my class oohing and aahing everytime I turned a page. This book stresses that it is fun having an imagination and that dragons have feelings too!
Some themes covered in this book: friendship, perspectives, imagination


  1. Ask the children to draw out the dragon that they liked the best in the collection on really huge paper. We did it on 4x4 feet.
  2. Paint the dragons.
  3. Display the dragons with quotes from the poems in the collection.

Additional activities: Use this book when teaching units such as dragons or the Middle Ages.


Dragon in the Rocks

Marie Day

Readability: 9 and up, read aloud to any age

A true story about the not too famous Mary Anning, who began her career as a paleontologist at the age of twelve. Marie Day has succeeded in rewriting her story so that children of all ages can be inspired by Anning's perseverance, patience, courage, and faith.


Make some of your own fossils.

  1. Mix up a batch of plaster of paris and pour into paper plates.
  2. Collect objects that would make good impressions (shells, feathers, leaves, etc.)
  3. Press and lift these objects one by one onto the plaster of paris.
  4. Once dry, rip the paper plate off and paint if you'd like.

Can also use this book when teaching units on paleontology, dinosaurs, or ocean life.


Don't Dig So Deep, Nicholas!

read aloud kindergarten, readability grade 3

Nicholas is at the beach and is digging a great big hole. A man looks over his newspaper and warns him; "If you keep digging like that," he said, "You'll go right through to Australia." The warning is ignored, and Nicholas keeps digging and digging. Suddenly, dozens of Australian animals jump through the hole reek havoc on the beach. This is an exciting and imaginative story that has very colourful and bold illustrations. At the end of the back, there is also a helpful, illustrated glossary consisting of a few animals that call Australia home.

Answer the questions:

Some useful internet sites:


Doodle Soup

by John Ciardi, Illus. by Merle Nacht

Doodle Soup is a compilation of hilarious and silly poems by John Ciardi. I enjoyed reading the poems in this book to my class. It emphasizes that it's nice to be a kid, and that you should never grow up. The poems also are quite simply written, so if you rewrote them on chart paper, the class could read it all together.

Some themes covered in this book: being silly, having fun, friendships, being adventurous


  1. Read poems out of Doodle soup.
  2. Ask children to remember rhyming words from the poems.
  3. When finished the pome write down the rhyming words on a piece of chart paper.
  4. Cut these words out and start a rhyming word bulletin board that kids can add to whenever they find new rhyming words in anything they read or hear