Shout out to Jennifer Reed who inspired me to do this activity. Check out her blog post on Reederama- “ReedALOUD: The Many Hats of Jon Klassen”( https://goo.gl/HMzc4G). She worked with 2nd grade students, but I decided to do this with 1st grade. Our school is emphasizing writing across all grade levels and I was pretty sure the 1st grade students could do this.
Session One-This Is Not My Hat
Jennifer used a trifolded piece of paper, which I also did. I had pencils and crayons on the table. After reading This Is Not My Hat, I asked the students what they thought happened in the place “where the plants are big and tall and close together.” I instructed them to write a sentence to describe what happened and illustrate it.
Session Two-I Want My Hat Back
I have about 30 minutes with each class when they visit. This allows me about 15-20 minutes max to do instruction and activity, so I decided to do one Klassen book each week. In the book, I Want My Hat Back, we see the bear seating on crumpled grass and saying “I would not eat a rabbit” although, I told the students, we don’t really know if he did eat the rabbit. So I asked what they think happened to the rabbit.
Session Three-We Found a Hat
For the last Klassen hat book, I asked the students what they thought happened the next day. Lots of different explanations from the positive (they share the hat) to the not-so positive (they fight over the hat)! Really the point of this 3 week activity was to practice writing sentances, ensuring that the sentances started with a capital letter and had some sort of puncuation at the end.
The Klassen books were very popular and it was funny that they got the humor of them and usually laughed in the same places.
UPDATE: Today after reading the book, Swap! by Steve Light to a first grade class and the students were getting up and going to check out books, one of the students asked, “Are we going to write today?” I was stumped for a minute. Write? Then the light bulb went off. For the past 3 weeks these students had been writing and drawing each time after reading a Jon Klassen book. Ah, so maybe some of them were really enjoying that part of their library visit!