Thunder Cake Teaching Plan
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Introduce the Read Aloud
Spark children's interest in the story by having them work in small groups to:
- brainstorm and list common sounds people are afraid of.
- share experiences of how they handle the sounds they list.
When children gather as a class again, invite them to compare their lists. Have them identify sounds that are common to all of the lists. You may want to point out that talking about a fear is one way to reduce it. Sharing fears often makes people feel safer. Encourage children to mention experiences in which older members of their families have shared their wisdom about overcoming fear in ways that were helpful to them.
Share the Read Aloud
Display the cover of the book, read the title and names of the author and illustrator. Talk about the cover picture, and ask children to identify the characters. Ask children to predict what a thunder cake could be.
Read the story aloud. As you read, pause at strategic places to ask children to predict what a Thunder Cake is and how the grandmother can help the girl overcome her fear.
Think About the Read Aloud
Give children time to share their thoughts and opinions about the story. You may want to prompt discussion with questions such as:
- Trade places with the girl. In what ways would you be like her? In what ways would you be different from her?
- Trade places with Grandma. What would you do the same way as she did? What would you do differently?
- Do you think you would like the Thunder Cake? Why or why not?
- How do the girl's feelings about herself change from the beginning to the end of the story?
- As you listened to the story, how did you picture the storm? What did you see? Hear? Feel?
Focus on Language
Connect to figurative language
Write the words on the chalkboard that the author used to describe the thunder. Read each one, and have children echo you. Tell children that writers sometimes use words to describe sounds, and they try to make the words sound like the sounds. Encourage children to think of other onomatopoetic words, and help you spell them. Then have the group read the words aloud.
Have children work in cooperative groups to dramatize a part of the story. Have them choose a favorite scene and role-play characters for a few minutes. Challenge them to improvise further dialogue, scenes, or characters. (COOPERATIVE GROUPS)