September 30, 2011

If You're A Monster and you Know It

Title: If You’re a Monster and You Know It
Rebecca Emberley (Author)
Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley (Illustrators)

Comprehension Strategy: Visualizing (Sensory Images)                 
Art Modalities: Music and Movement

Children will stomp their paws, twitch their tails, snort and growl, and wiggle and wriggle along with this bright and bold twist on "If You're Happy and You Know It." Rebecca Emberley has written a rollicking text, which she has illustrated in collaboration with her father, Caldecott Medalist Ed Emberley. (Summary from Scholastic.)

If You’re a Monster and You Know It
rhythm instruments

We know that visualizing is creating mental images while we read, right? In chapter nine of Strategies that Work, the authors encourage readers to create mental images that go beyond visualizing to include responses like “I see, I hear, I feel, I smell and I taste.” To better imagine this lesson, first listen to this fun audio of If You’re a Monster and You Know It.

Next, go make friends with your school’s music teacher and ask her if you can borrow a box of rhythm instruments for your reading lesson. (Pick her up off the floor when you leave.)

Reread this story over several days to give your students multiple opportunities to sing and move along. Ask your group to help you list the actions in the song:
*snort and growl
*smack your claws
*stomp your paws
*twitch your tail
*wiggle your warts
*give a roar

Next invite children to explore the different sounds that the instruments make. Ask questions like, “Which of the instruments makes a sound like snorting and growling? Which instrument’s sound would remind you of smacking your claws? Which instrument’s sound could represent stomping your paws?” Give volunteers an opportunity to match each action with an instrument. As you sing along, pause to play the instrument with the actions. Can you visualize this lesson? Can you hear the fun? Can you feel the beat? Great. If you’re happy and you know it, buy this book!


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