Tuesday, September 18, 2012


The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg - LESSON PLAN by http://thepicturebookteachersedition.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-mysterious-tadpole-by-steven-kellogg.html

BOOK REVIEW:  Uncle McAllister, he always sends Louis the best birthday presents, this year is no exception. Uncle McAllister sent, what everyone thought, was a tadpole to Louis for this years birthday. Louis named his tadpole Alphonse. Alphonse was no ordinary tadpole, he grew, and grew, and grew until he could no longer fit in Louis' apartment. Louis set out in search of help. He needed to get enough money to build Louis a pool. Louis asked the school librarian to help him, and boy did she! Wait till you see where they found the money to make Alphonse's new home!

This is such a fun book, it has been one of my favorites since my girls were babies...even as I worked on this review, both of my girls walked by, saw the book, and both said, "Oh, I love that book!"

I hope you can use the FREE classify and categorize activity I have created to go along with this book.

If you would like to make your own reading skill or strategy lesson with this book here is a list of ideas and questions that might be helpful.
Reading level: 3.2

Theme: friendship

Genre: Fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: Scotland, ordinary, donated, smuggled, retrieved, Loc Ness monster

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} Why is the tadpole mysterious? {possible questions during} Why does Alphonse eat cheeseburgers? Why is Alphonse growing so fast? What are they going to do with Alphonse now that he is too big for the apartment? Why was the coach so mad? What is a Loc Ness monster? {possible questions after} What kind of bird was in the egg?
  • author's point of view - third person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertain {evidence} The tadpole grew very fast. Alphonse ate cheeseburgers. Alphonse found a treasure chest in the harbor. All of these things are silly, which makes an entertaining story.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Louis got a tadpole from his uncle for his birthday. {most important event from middle} Alphonse grew so fast that he needed a new home. {most important event from end} Alphonse found the treasure to help pay for his new home.
  • cause and effect - Why did Uncle McAllister send Louis a tadpole? because it was Louis' birthday. Why did the teacher ask Louis to stop bringing Alphonse to school? because she decided that he was no ordinary tadpole. Why did Louis smuggle Alphonse into the school? because he needed Alphonse to live in the school pool. Why was to coach upset and confused? because Alphonse was in the pool. Why did Miss. Seevers drop her purse and books into the pool? because she was so shocked to see Alphonse. Why did Miss. Seevers call Uncle McAllister? because she wanted to find out more about Alphonse. Why does Miss Seevers think Alphonse is a Loc Ness monster? because Alphonse is so big and he was found in the lake Loc Ness. Why does Alphonse need to find the treasure? because they needed the money to buy the parking lot to build Alphonse a pool. Why did Uncle McAllister come to visit Louis? because it was his birthday, again. Why does Louis' parents look so nervous at the end of the book? because they are afraid of what the bird might grow into.
  • characterization - describe Louis, describe Alphonse, describe Miss. Seevers {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • classify & categorize - birthday gifts that your parents would be happy you got and birthday gifts that your parents would not be happy you got.
  • compare & contrast - your pet to Alphonse
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} getting a pet for a gift.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - How do you think Louis' parents are feeling when the birthday egg cracks open? {text clues} the looks on their faces look like they are worried. Also the tadpole turned out not to be a tadpole but a very big Loc Ness monster. {my conclusion} I think Louis' parents are worried that the bird is going to turn into a very big raptor.
  • main idea & details - {main idea} {details}
  • plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when Alphonse gets the treasure chest.
  • predict - Do you think Alphonse is a tadpole? Do you think Alphonse will get sent to the zoo? Do you think Louis will get into trouble having Alphonse in the school pool? What do you think the swimmers and coach will do when they find Alphonse in the pool? How do you think Miss. Seevers will react when she seed Alphonse? What do you think Miss. Seevers' idea is? Will Alphonse find the treasure? What do you think Uncle McAllister will send Louis this year for his birthday. What kind of bird do you think Uncle McAllister sent?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Alphonse is getting so big he can't fit anywhere. {solution} Louis wants to buy the parking lot next door to build Alphonse a pool.
  • sequencing - Uncle McAllister sends Louis a birthday gift. Louis names his tadpole Alphonse. Louis takes Alphonse to school for show and tell. Alphonse starts outgrowing all his homes. The teacher tells Louis that Alphonse can't come to school anymore. Louis takes Alphonse to the school pool. The coach and swimmers see Alphonse and run away from the pool. Louis asks Miss. Seevers to help him. She tells Louis about a treasure chest that no one has found. Alphonse goes into the harbor and finds the treasure chest. Miss. Seevers and Louis have enough money to build Alphonse his pool. All the kids love to swim with Alphonse. It is Louis' birthday again and Uncle McAllister delivers his new present...an egg.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • summarize - {someone}Louis {wanted} needed to buy the parking lot next door to build Alphonse a pool {but} but they didn't have enough money {so} so he asked Miss. Seevers for help. {then}Miss. Seevers told Louis of a treasure chest that Alphonse found. {finally} They finally had enough money to build Alphonse his pool.

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