Some of the best library lessons are inspired by great children's books. I recently got a shipment of new picture books and in it was Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk. What a fun story!
If you aren't familiar, the story centers around two friends who race each other to the last drop of syrup. There are many great lessons you could pull from this tastefully illustrated book (pun intended). I chose to use the book with 3rd graders and to focus on two standards: (1) identifying characters and (2) identifying the problem and solution within a story. I originally thought I might pair it with If You Give a Pig a Pancake, but I ended up dropping that idea somewhere along the way. (It is a good idea that I might use in the future.)
I had the students make predictions about the characters by looking at the cover. Right-away, students noticed that Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast appeared to be upset with one another. They also noticed that Lady Pancake's "hair" is really whipped cream!
I then read the story aloud to them and it was a big hit. We discussed the problems that arose during the story and I had students brainstorm what they thought was the central problem.
I then moved on to directions for our project. I put a slide on the interactive board with directions, but I also read the directions and showed them the handout before moving them to tables to begin working. Some classes did need more direction than others, but for the most part, students seemed to know exactly what I wanted them to do.
They moved to tables and completed the "fun-sheet" (we don't call them worksheets in The Happy Library) by filling in the title of the book, the two central characters names, the problem of the story, and the solution. Then, they used colored pencils to illustrate the two characters. They were really excited about the drawing part! Students really talked a lot about the food items in the book, too....many kids didn't know what sauerkraut or celery are!
I can think of several ways to use this book in the future, and with other grade levels, but it seemed to be a good fit for 3rd graders. They didn't feel that it was too childish and I'd love to revisit the book and talk about nutrition and what is in our refrigerators at home!
The final results were just adorable! The kiddos did a great job with these and I am in love with all of the detailed illustrations they did. I hope you plan to use this book in the near future....it is utterly delicious!
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