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bear

The Bear Next Door

Book:  The Bear Next Door

Author: Ida Luttrell

Age: Early Elementary, Elementary

Description: This early reader chapter book consists of 3 chapters depicting the relationship of a gopher and his new next door neighbor who is a bear. Gopher and bear learn how to be good neighbors and friends to each other, but have some bumps along the way.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Theory of Mind
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Social Language
  • Trickery

Why I like this book: For struggling readers, this is a great “chapter book” with pictures to break up the text.

Ideas for use:

  • A great story for perspective taking. Chapter 3 provides a perfect “theory of mind” opportunity. Help children understand what 1 characters knows, that the other doesn’t. Use thinking bubbles (cut out of paper, use a white board, etc.) above characters heads to discuss their thoughts and why. If this is really challenging, “act out” the story to help with understanding.
  • A great story for reading comprehension when you want somewhat lengthier level text. Read to children and follow up with comprehension questions. Can try with and without pictures support.
  • Have a discussion about how to be a good neighbor. What is important to think about? Chapter 1 would be a good example of how behavior affects others. Tie in with Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking © curriculum (www.socialthinking.com), and use the Social Behavior Maps. What was “unexpected” that the Gopher did (i.e. put his sprinkler on right by Bear’s furniture), how that affected others (Bear’s furniture was wet, he was covered in mud, etc.), how that made Bear feel (frustrated), the conquences (Bear is angry, doesn’t want to spend time with Gopher, etc.), and the affects on Gopher himself (feels terrible).

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Freckle Juice

Freckle Juice

Title: Freckle Juice

Author: Judy Blume
Age: Elementary School
Description: A short chapter book in which Andrew Marcus really wants freckles and can and does do almost anything to try and get them.
Goals/Concepts:
  • Main idea
  • Perspective taking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Prediction
  • “trickery”

Why I like this book: The chapters are short and broken up with pictures which makes it more enjoyable and manageable for struggling readers, or those with shorter attention spans. The story is humorous and loved by all kids.

Ideas for use:

  • Working on summarizing of each chapter. Have children write/share in 2-3 sentences the “most important thing” that happened.
  • Great for perspective taking as there is a huge element of trickery. If children are challenged by the concept of trickery, use drawings (stick figures will work!) and thinking and speaking bubbles to help them visualize and understand throughout each chapter. Write what characters are “thinking” vs. “saying” and why
  • Have children make predictions at the end of every chapter
  • Work in implicit and explict comprehension questions after each chapter
  • Have kids make up their own version of “freckle juice,” what would they include in their recipe. Who could they “trick”? (always discussing not to do this for real!)

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

Please support books4all and order this book from Amazon.com.  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.