I did this series of lessons last year and the students and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do it again! I “borrowed” the idea from Jennifer Reed. I read about it on her blog, Reedarama (https://goo.gl/HMzc4G).
I like to give students as many opportunities to write when they visit the library as possible. With first graders just reinforcing the idea that “sentences start with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark” is good practice.
This Is Not My Hat: Week One
I love this book and so do the students. When I read the line, “I just stole it” there are usually several children who just gasp. They are so innocent. After reading the book I ask them how they think the big fish got his hat back, after all we don’t see the action amongst the plants.
I fold copy paper into thirds and have them write their response on the top one-third. They use colored pencils, which they really like. The directions are to first write your sentence and then illustrate it. I find that some students need a lot of prompting to think creatively. Perhaps that is because we don’t give them as many opportunities to think outside the box as we should. There are no right answers here, just your own opinion.
I Want My Hat Back: Week Two
We read this book and I ask them what they think happened to the rabbit. They write their response in the middle third and most write that they think the bear did eat the rabbit.
We Found a Hat: Week Three
After reading this title I ask the children how the turtles resolve the problem of having only one hat. This really stumped a few students. One girl (bless her heart) just kept repeating, “There are two turtles and they have one hat.” After much discussion I desperately grabbed two pencils and said, “Let’s pretend there are two girls and they only have one bike (I used a book to represent the bike). How will they solve this problem?” Finally the light bulb went off and she said something like, “They take turns.” Break through! This just reinforces my idea that we don’t let students problem-solve like we should.