One book I love to use at back to school time is “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” by Mark Teague. It is a fun book to use as a lead-in to students writing about their own vacations. Its exaggerations are humorous, and can be fun as a modern-day tall tale.
The hero of the story is a boy who has a wild imagination. His parents hope that sending him out West to his Aunt Fern’s for the summer will give his overactive imagination a rest. But when he returns, the story he tells his classmates is full of kidnapping by cowboys, Wild West outfits, cowhand tricks, and charging bulls.
And, for working on emergent literacy skills - it’s told in rhyme! When I use it I capitalize on the rhymes in the story to focus on some phonological awareness activities. I have rhyming words cards (catch them below) that we use to play a “Memory” type game.
Mark Teague is a master humorous story-teller, as evidenced by all of his books. I haven’t used any of the others yet, but I know I’m going to have to try them. I have used this particular book with kids with autism, kids with language disorders, and kids with learning disabilities, so it’s got lots of possibilities for any group.
Try these free rhyming cards even if you don’t read the book.
Keep on talking!