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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.

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Activity

A Story for Corduroy

 

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A Story for Corduroy

Grades K – 2
Activity Time One to two hours (depending on how many stories you read and discuss)
Publisher International Reading Association
 

What You Need

Here’s What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

  • Any books from the Corduroy series by Don Freeman, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, or others

  • A stuffed bear, especially one to which the child has a special attachment

  • Art supplies (such as paper and crayons)

  • Pencil and paper

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Here’s What To Do

1. Get one or more Corduroy books from the library or bookstore. Also, ask the child to choose a stuffed animal (if not a bear like Corduroy, then perhaps another favorite) to “listen” to the stories as well.

2. Read one of the books aloud to the child. Afterward, have plenty of open-ended discussion time. Invite the child to share opinions about favorite parts and characters or to talk about the pictures in the book.

Make sure you ask plenty of “wh” questions such as: Why was that part your favorite? What did you like about the little girl in the story? What do you think made Corduroy sad? When did he become happy? What would you do if Corduroy would come to visit you? Which of your toys do you think he would like to play with? Why?

3. After the conversation, have the child draw a picture of a favorite scene.

4. Repeat these activities—reading, discussing, illustrating a scene—with a few of the other Corduroy books.

5. Now that the child is thinking imaginatively about Corduroy, tell the child it’s the stuffed animal’s turn to run loose in his or her house or school when no one is there! Uh-oh—what might happen? Although many children will jump right in and spin a fun yarn in response to that question, others might need a little more help organizing their thoughts. In these cases, encourage the child to remember some favorite parts from the other stories and to use them as a guide.

6. Ask the child to come up with a two- or three-sentence story about the bear’s adventure at home. Although you may pose questions to get the child thinking about how his or her ideas fit together, keep in mind that the words should be the child’s own.

  • For a younger child with limited writing ability, write the sentences as the child says them, having him or her help with spellings of words if possible.

  • Older, more advanced writers can write the sentences themselves. Encourage the child to sound out the words when writing. Spelling errors are fine at this drafting stage; take time at the end to review the sentences and write the correct spellings underneath misspelled words.

7. Have the child illustrate his or her original story—and don’t forget to give it a title, too! When it is finished, encourage the child to read the story to you.

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More Ideas To Try

  • If this activity is enjoyable for the child, you may also want try it with other favorite book series, such as the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo or the Madeline books by Ludwig Bemelmans.

  • Children may also want to try writing several two- or three-sentence pages about their own stuffed animals’ hijinks at home. If so, staple the pages together and create a cover using our special Book Cover Creator, and—voila!—the child now has an original book!

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Glossary

Character

 

A person, animal, or object represented in a story or play.

Plot

 

The structure of the action of a story; what happens in the story.

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