Every Monday, I highlight a book from our school bookroom along with lesson plan suggestions. I hope you find this useful, and please leave a comment with any suggestions or additions!
Cumulative stories are one of the six main types of predictable books, perfect for early readers. Apparently, “children get comfort from repetition,” although I can’t put my finger on the official research-y studies to back this up. This one offers some insight.
I’ve been thinking a lot about cumulative stories. Why they’re so catchy, why they’re so timeless, and why the Caldcott committees seem to ADORE them (Drummer Hoff, House in the Night). This isn’t limited to just their selections of the Caldecott medal winners, as evidenced by this week’s honor book. The Judge follows a pompous counsel as he rejects the excuses and warnings of a creature whose eyes are scary, tail is hairy, etc. etc.
There is a CAFE menu included with this mentor text, and I’ve highlighted these as suggested lessons:
- Trade a word / guess a word that makes sense. Predictable books like The Judge are great for supporting students’ thoughtful guesses. Here’s an extensive list of other books to try.
- Practice common sight words and high frequency words. When using Drummer Hoff with my students, I noticed a few of them started to memorize the book and they were no longer actually looking at the words when they reread the text. Write words and phrases from The Judge onto notecards, then let students use the cards to practice individual words, or to create their own interpretation of the judge’s story.
- Adjust and apply different reading rates to match text. After reading through the book once, have students join in using dramatically different voices for each character.
Please add any lessons or supplemental materials to the book bag so future teachers can utilize your good thinking!
Comments and constructive feedback are always welcomed. Please let me know if these lessons were useful in your class!