Book of the Week: Red-Eyed Tree Frog

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!

Red-Eyed Tree Frog, by Joy Cowley

Nic Bishop is a brilliant photographer. Joy Cowley does a nice job of using pretty basic text to create a quick narrative of a tree frog’s day. There aren’t any text features, but there is a “Did You Know?” section in the back.

There’s an !OFFICIAL! FWPS lesson plan around main idea and details included in the bag. It focuses on activating prior knowledge.

I love everything Anita Silvey does, and you should definitely check out her Red-Eyed Tree Frog essay.

If you yearn for the days of scripted minute-by-minute lesson plans, this might be right for you.

Additionally, there’s some extra content available on Houghton Mifflin’s website.

There is a CAFE menu included with this mentor text, and I’ve highlighted these as suggested lessons:

  • Use main idea and supporting details to determine importance. As mentioned above, there’s a pre-designed FWPS lesson plan for this in the book bag. You might also talk about how nonfiction books are sometimes intended to be read out of linear order — for example, reading the Did You Know section at the end of the book first won’t spoil the story like it would if a fiction book were being read.

  • Cross checking… Do the pictures and/or words look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense? Because the comprehension lesson is about activating prior knowledge, this might be an opportunity to explain a time when cross-checking might NOT work. If a student has never seen or heard the word “katydid,” for example, no matter how many times they look at the text and picture, it won’t magically make sense.
  • Flip the sounds. There’s a point where the frog is stalked by a “hungry boa snake.” If students pronounced the word correctly on the first try, ask how they knew they didn’t need to try flipping the sound first. Explain that as they become better readers with more strategies, the slower, more cumbersome strategies like flipping the sound won’t be as critical for them on a regular basis.

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!