Specific Novel & Picture Book Activities - "D"
The Dragons Are Singing Tonight
by Jack Prelutsky, Illustrated by Peter Sis
- Published: 1993
- Genre: Poetry
- Readability: ages 9 and up - younger ages love to skim through the book because its wonderful illustrations, also can be read aloud to 6 year olds and up.
- A few themes: friendship, perspectives, imagination
- A few uses: read aloud, choral reading, Teaching: dragons, middle ages...
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
- 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.
- Paint the dragons.
- 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
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.
- Mix up a batch of plaster of paris and pour into paper plates.
- Collect objects that would make good impressions (shells, feathers, leaves, etc.)
- Press and lift these objects one by one onto the plaster of paris.
- 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.
- Many interesting animals jump out of Nicholas's hole.
- Pick one and do a mini research display on it.
- Find pictures and characteristics of it from magazines, pamphlets, and/or the internet.
Answer the questions:
- Where does it live in Australia?
- What does it eat?
- List three interesting things that you found out about it.
- Collect all the information and paste them on a large piece of tagboard. Display.
Some useful internet sites:
At this site you can explore the animals of any continent or ocean.
- Sea World/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
- Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL
pictures of the over 1,000 animals that are at this zoo.
by John Ciardi, Illus. by Merle Nacht
- Genre: Poetry
- Readability: ages 8 and up - can be read aloud to 5 year olds and up
- A few themes: being silly, friendships, adventures, having fun
- A few uses: read aloud, choral reading, Teaching: poetry, rhyming words...
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
- Read poems out of Doodle soup.
- Ask children to remember rhyming words from the poems.
- When finished the pome write down the rhyming words on a piece of chart paper.
- 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