Back to School Picture Book & Freebies

For the last several years I've started my year off with this humorous book by Nick Ward.

A quote from Amazon: "It's Sammy the shark's first day at school - and he's very excited. But when Sammy gets excited, he BITES things! CRUNCH! Can he get through the day without causing too much trouble? A crunchy, munchy book for tiddlers everywhere. 'A book you can really get your teeth into.' "

Here are some of the things I like to do with this book:

1. Pre-Discussion: Talk about the cover. Is this fiction or non-fiction? How can you tell? Why do you think there's a bite out of the page? What clue does that give us? What do you think might happen in this story? Let's listen to the title again ... Do you think the shark WILL eat the teacher?

2. Prediction graph. Have the kids colour and put their names on the sharks below. They can glue them onto chart paper indicating their prediction about whether or not the shark will eat the teacher.

clipart for prediction graph

3. Post Discussion:  Refer back to the prediction graph and discuss whether or not Sammy really did eat the teacher. How do you know? (It's actually not clear whether or not he does).  Is Sammy mean or just excited? Are you excited on the first day of school? What does Sammy need to learn? How can his friends help him learn this?

4. Have the children draw a picture showing whether or not THEY think Sammy ate the teacher.

5. Make these oh-so-cute sharks (click the pic for directions).

6. You could also use this very cute story map that I found at The Picture Book Teacher's Edition. I think it's a little difficult for Grade 1s at the beginning of the year, but it's perfect for Grade 2 or 3. (Shawna has tons of other great picture book ideas, too!)



  1. I love that book Barbara! It's one of my read-alouds every year! :)

    The Hands-On Teacher in First!

  2. I just get such a happy feeling whenever I visit your blog. What a fun lesson - your students are SO blessed to be in your care.

    Happy new year . . . soon!

    The Corner On Character

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! I've got to get that book! I imagine the kids laughing as hard as I did at the title. LOVE your activities and the story map too. Gotta, gotta, get this book!
    First Grade Found Me

  4. I love this book! It is one of my favorite read-aloud books!

  5. I haven't seen that book - but it looks hilarious! I've already put it in my Amazon shopping cart! :) Thanks for sharing!

    Second Grade Sparkle

  6. I love this stroy! Thanks for the freebies!

  7. I LOVE this book! I use it on the very first day of school. I made a little game to go with it. It has pictures of me as I was growing up so the kids can get to know me better. They put a piece of candy on the pictures and take turns taking the candy off (M&M). One of the pictures has secretly been picked by the other players and when the student touches that one the kids yell "Don't Eat Mrs. Peterson". It's a fun activity for the first day. Thanks for sharing the other activities. I'll have to try them too.
    Sheree Peterson

  8. Hey Barbara-
    Just take that shark pattern you've got, and fix it to a paper lunch sack so the kids can make their own shark puppet- then get your retelling on!
    And I've never read this book, so I must go adjust my Amazon order post haste!
    The Meek Moose

  9. I love your blog design! So cute!
    The Idea Backpack

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this book, I love how he might he eat the teacher and you have the kids predict the ending. I linked up to! I also set up a linky party for "Classroom Design and Bulletin Board Ideas". Most everyone is going to be posting pics of their classroom, bulletin boards, word walls, libraries etc.. so I thought why not have a linky party. I would love to see what clever ideas you have up your sleeve. Stop by when you are ready to link up.
    Thanks so much,

  11. Thank so much for sharing this book! I found you through the linky party--I also became one of your new followers!

  12. This looks like such a wonderful book and activity! Thank you for sharing this 'ONEderful' idea!

    Stars in First

  13. I forgot about this book! I will have to find it in one of my bins. Great ideas!

  14. Barbara,
    I am your newest follower! I'm happy to have come across your great blog! I'm going to be teaching first grade, too. I'd love to share ideas. Come by and visit me sometime!
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  15. Don't Eat the Teacher looks like a great book. Thanks for all the amazing activity ideas to go with it:)
    The Common Core Classroom

  16. That shark craft is simply A-Dor-A-ble! Love it!

    Tangled with Teaching

  17. My preschool class loves this story! They love to yell "crunch" as I turn the page to see if Sammy took a bite! I drew a shark on cardboard, cut the mouth out and will take a pic of each child getting "crunched" !!! And I love the craft idea and making it into a puppet!

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