January 28, 2011

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf

Title:  Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf
Judy Sierra (Author), Jotto Seibold (Illustrator)
Comprehension Strategy: Making Connections (using Prior Knowledge)                       
Art Modalities:  drama, music

When B. B. Wolf, who now lives in the Villain Villa Retirement Residence, is invited to the library for a storybook tea, he is careful to follow the advice of this crocodile friend and impresses everyone with how polite he can be. (Summary from book.)

Mind Your Manners, B. B. Wolf
optional: The Three Little Pigs
Little Red Riding Hood
The Gingerbread Man
(Choose versions of these stories most appropriate for the listening skills of your students.)

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? None of your students will be scared of B. B. Wolf—or good manners—after listening to this story about his excellent etiquette lesson. To prepare students to make text-to-text connections, you might want to first read several classic tales of wolf mischief, such as The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Even though it is most often a fox and not a wolf that is the danger in The Gingerbread Man, you might also want to read this story because a gingerbread man is featured in the illustrations of this book. Finally, you might also wish to discuss why Little Bo Peep, in the traditional nursery rhyme, would need to be afraid of wolves since they were a danger to her sheep.

Prior to reading the story, invite students to choose characters from these classic tales to portray. Options include any of the three pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, her grandmother, the woodsman, and the Gingerbread Man. Group students by their chosen characters, or have them label themselves with nametags. Using a toy microphone, and perhaps even a video camera, interview the characters to find out what they already know about our main character: B. B. Wolf. How have their previous experiences with the wolf affected their opinion of him? What words best describe his personality? What are his motives in most stories? What advice would these characters give to other storybook characters about the wolf?

In the story, B. B. Wolf makes up a song to help himself remember the etiquette advice provided by his friend the crocodile. Following your read aloud of the story, invite students to help you create a tune for the crocodile's advice. Perhaps you could try the words to the tune of popular songs that the students already know. Or challenge older students to create their own tunes to perform for the class. If desired, sing the text to the tune of "Bingo."
Sip your tea and never slurp,
Say, "Excuse me" if you burp.
Use good manners, please!
Use good manners, please!
Use good manners, please!
When you go to the library.

Smile and have a lot of fun,
but don't go biting anyone!
Use good manners, please!
Use good manners, please!
Use good manners, please!
When you go to the library.

For more information about the author, visit: 


  1. I just found your blog through Really Good Stuff's classroom blog contest. I'm a new follower. Your detailed lessons are very nice. Teaching children to think and comprehend while reading is close to my heart. I didn't enjoy reading until I was 25. I did not engage in my reading and did not like reading at all. Now I love teaching reading and write a blog called Beginning Reading Help.
    I'm voting for your blog today. The work and info you share is helpful and impressive. Enjoy your summer. I look forward to more posts in the Fall.

  2. Dear Michelle,
    Thank you so much for such a nice email. I love the idea of blogging to talk to other teachers, but I really hope to provide something of substance as well. Your email was just what I needed to hear and was encouraging.
    I'm hoping to post other teacher's ideas, so if you have something that is arts related, I'd love for you to briefly describe it. I'll give your blog credit for the idea.
    Now while I'm on the sofa...how about I surf over to Beginning Reading Help and read a while?! (I know I have a child with dyslexia coming to my 2nd grade class next year...got any ideas or links?)
    Sincerely, Jayne


Please leave a comment...