March 29, 2011

Yesterday I Had the Blues

Title: Yesterday I Had the Blues
Jeron Ashford Frame (Author), 
R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)

Comprehension Strategy: Inferring                   
Art Modality: Poetry

Summary: Ever had the blues? Yesterday one boy had them bad—not just the ordinary blues, the "deep down in my shoes" blues, the "go away Mr. Sun quit smilin' at me" blues. But today he's traded in those blues for greens, the "runnin' my hands along the hedges" greens, the kind of greens that make him want to be SOMEBODY. With text that begs to be read aloud, and bold, colorful paintings, this book will have readers big and small pondering the spectrum of moods and how they can change from day to day. (Summary from Random House, Inc.)

Yesterday I Had the Blues
chart paper

Trying to teach your students to infer? Don’t let it give you the blues! First, read aloud this jazzy story. Follow up the reading with a discussion about each character’s emotions. Encourage students to use their background knowledge, the text clues, and the illustrations to explain the reasons for the feelings. Here’s the chart we made from our class discussion:

On another day, reread the story and review the chart. Use this poetry frame to encourage your students to think about their own feelings.

Yesterday I had the _________________.
The ________________________________________.

Today I got the ___________________.
The ________________________________________.

Tomorrow I hope I have the _____________.
The ________________________________________.

This poetry by my second graders gives me the pinks...the oh-so-happy, lips smilin’, tickled-pink pinks!


Do your kids have the blues? Let them watch this animated clip of the story. They’re sure to want to read along, and before you know it they’ll feel golden!


  1. I love these ideas for helping kids make connections with literature! I only have to look at your students' writing to see they love to play with language and react to literature. Wonderful!

  2. This looks like a great activity. I plan to try it out with my summer writing camp students.

  3. I've never thought about discussing moods in relation to colors but it makes perfect sense. It makes for colorful poetry!

  4. What a great idea! You can tie this in with the Six Traits - word choice and voice! So glad I found your blog!


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