Sharing my love of literacy

November 19, 2011

Read Aloud

Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James is a cute story about a girl named Emily who finds a whale in her backyard. She writes letters to her teacher asking him questions about whales.

I love using this book to teach facts and fiction.  After reading aloud the book a few times, I gave students a sheet of paper that had sentences from the text. For example:

There is a whale in my backyard pond.

I fed him cornflakes.

Whales live in salt water.

Students work with a partner to cut out the sentences and put them in a chart which is labelled Facts and Fiction. I check students' answers before I let them glue the sentence stripes. 

Another lesson I teach with this book is letter writing. Students pretend they are Emily and they want to find out another new fact about whales. We go over the rules of a friendly letter and then the students write to Mr. Blueberry. I give the letters to a different student. Then, they research the question and write a follow up letter. The students really love doing this activity!