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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Reading Workbooks  >  Elementary School
Different "Versions" and Comic Fun
By Alice Knapp, Chugach Optional Elementary

Different "Versions" Exercise
Kindergarten/Primary Age Children

Go to the library and check out different versions of familiar stories, for example The Three Little Pigs. At our library we had two traditional versions, a Hawaiian version, and a Southwest desert version (The Three Little Javalinas). Read these stories with your child over the course of a week, a different version each night, and see what kind of observations your child makes about similarities and differences between the stories. This kind of activity helps to develop children's discrimination skills as they learn to retell each story sequentially. Explain how many of these stories have changed over time because they were not originally written down and, therefore, have changed over time to fit the place and people. If the child is having fun with this activity have him or her think up their own version of the Three Little Pigs -- Alaska style.

Comic Fun Exercise
Intermediate Age Children--Grades 4-6

Round up some Calvin and Hobbes comic collections. On her own, let your child read through the comics. Challenge her to find some words she is not familiar with. In flipping through one collection I came up with these words: malice, subconscious, virtue, ingenious, harassed, aerodynamic, and deranged. I guarantee when it comes to this comic strip there is quite an opportunity for kids to enrich their vocabulary. See if they are able to figure out what these words mean using the context of the comic then have them look up the word to see how close their guess was. This comic strip would also be wonderful to do character studies on. Have your child focus on one of the main characters: Hobbes, Calvin, his mother, father, the babysitter, the little girl, or his teacher Mrs. Wormwood, and come up with a personality profile. To extend this activity, make a life-size paper cut out of the character and label some of their characteristics on it. For example, on a Calvin cutout, next to the stomach you might write "allergic to green foods."

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