Anyhow...to kick off the unit I usually start by reading of Hey, Little Ant. After I read the book, and before we discuss it, we complete a little questionnaire about the book...then we discuss it as a whole group.
After reading Can I Keep Him? students pick an animal (not one that's in the book) and come up with 5 reasons they should be able to keep the animal, 3 reasons a parent might say NO!, and then 1 response for each parent reason. They then break into pairs and role play the reasons and responses.
After Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus students write a sequel to the original book. This year we had Don't Let the Pigeon....Fly the Helicopter, Conduct the Train, Drive the Buggati (expensive sports car for those of you who have no idea like me!) We then took the 10 sequels and made a class book with them. They came out fabulously! I mean best ever! I provided them with a step-by-step direction (I found it HERE of how to draw the pigeon and off they went!
After Dear Mrs. LaRue students pick one specific letter written from Mrs. Larue to Ike (the dog) and responded (in proper friendly letter form of course!) to her letter as the character of Ike.
After Click, Clack, Moo we completed a cause and effect chart as a whole class. Then students broke into small groups and selected another book written by Doreen Cronin. They then compared and contrasted their books by completed a Venn diagram. Finally each group shared out to the whole class.
From year to year I switch up which books I use, add some in, take some out, etc. but these are the ones we did this year. As the unit progresses each day I also add new books to our classroom that we won't actually use in class. I have a special area for books that relate to what we're doing in class at any given time and students know exactly where this area is. Once in this area they'll find signs like the one below so they know which area of study each book goes with.