Title: How Rocket Learned to Read
Author: Tad Hills
Illustrator: Tad Hills
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: 2010
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Summary: Rocket is happy playing and then napping under his favorite tree when a little yellow bird comes along and declares him her student and teaches him to read.
What I Think: I get super excited about reading and books about reading get me even more excited. This one is such a sweet story of a little dog named Rocket who doesn't realize what he's missing when it comes to being able to read. I love when bird starts reading a story and Rocket is completely engrossed and can't wait to hear what happens next!
I've been on maternity leave for the last six weeks and today is my first day back! I've been thinking about what I want to do first with my students and I decided to read this book with them. I usually start off the school year talking about what they have been reading during the summer and about what books they are interested in to help me choose books to read with them and to recommend to them. To start the discussion I'm planning on reading this book and then I'll chat with them about books and ask them to take my reader's survey. I think this book could be used in the same way to start the school year or even throughout the school year to talk to students about their experience with reading and what they loved to read. I hope this books helps me start my school year and get my students as into reading as Rocket becomes!
Read Together: K - 12
Read Alone: 2+
Read With: It's a Book By Lane Smith (Note: read this book ALL THE WAY THROUGH before reading it with students - I wouldn't read it with my younger students but I love it!); Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) By Barbara Bottner; Matilda by Roald Dahl
Snatch of Text: "Opening up a book, the bird began to read. She sang out the story of an unlucky dog named Buster who'd lost his favorite bone. A cool breeze carried her lively voice across the yard. At first Rocket was disturbed.
But before long he found himself captivated.
To Rocket the story was as delicious as the earthy smells of fall. It as as exciting as chasing leaves. He closed his eyes and listened to every word.
' 'As Buster dug and dug under the lilac bush,' the bird read, ' 'he felt something familiar.' '
Rocket waited. Was it the bone? he wondered.
'Was it the bone?' he called to the bird.
'WAS IT THE BONE?!' Rocket hollered.
Suddenly he was rushing to the tree.
'Well, was it?'"
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Making Predictions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Dialogue
Writing Prompts: Write about your favorite reading memory - this could be your about when you read your favorite book, when someone read to you, where you love to read, etc. In you writing, use dialogue like Tad Hills does to create suspense or another emotion in your story.
Topics Covered: Love of Reading, Friendship, Curiosity, Success
Translated to Spanish: No
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