For the last several years I’ve started my year off with this humorous book, Don’t Eat the Teacher by Nick Ward.
Summary 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.
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!)