Next we recorded some of the ideas side by side on a chart.
Here's the follow-up writing lesson. Each child drew two characters of his choice on a folded sheet of paper. We wondered what other animals or people might look at each other the way the rabbit and bear did in the book. What would they think in their heads or say out loud to each other? After drawing, each child shared with a partner what the conversation would sound like between the two characters on his page.
Finally, I helped each child pick a different color of marker to represent each of his characters. You're going to love this child's writing! Notice his use of capital letters and punctuation. There's some humor here, as well, because the kids all know about my intense fear of the pet snake in our building.
|Snake: I'm hungry. I want to eat you.|
Mrs. G: aaaaaAAAAhhhhh! Wait. I'm so old. I don't think I'll be a tender snack.
Snake: OK. But I'm not making any promises.
I read this book aloud slowly and with suspense. There was an audible gasp from the kids when we got to these pages and they realized...the big fish ate the little fish. Awesome!
We revisted this book for several days. One day involved discussions about which characters did something wrong. And how about that crab? Maybe he didn't mean to not keep his word. Maybe he was intimidated by the big fish, they offered.
One day we made a chart comparing the story in the pictures with the story in the words. What an a-ha moment when they realized it was a book of opposites. What the little fish thinks on every page is the opposite of what really happens.
My kids have really developed a skill for looking at the illustrations to justify their thinking. For example, they thought the little fish was going slowly because there were only a few bubbles, but that the big fish was swimming quickly because there were more bubbles. How did the big fish know where the little fish went? The bubbles from the little fish go up. Check out the eyes on the big fish. Slanted eyes from a predator are never a good sign!
Finally, why are there no more words after the seaweed page? Because the character telling the story is....GONE!
I hope your kids get as much out of these two books as mine did. Happy reading!