K-5 Literacy

Grab That Rabbit! 1st Grade Storytime

I’ve recently started planning my outreach storytimes around new books that have struck my eye as good read-alouds. My first attempt at this lesson planning style begins with Grab That Rabbit by Polly Faber and Briony May Smith. Despite its less mediocre Goodreads reviews, Grab That Rabbit is a great read aloud and is the kind of story that sets itself up to talk about plot and practice reading comprehension. The following is a lesson plan inspired by this September 2018 release.

Grab That Rabbit! by Polly Faber and Briony May Smith

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Reading for Literacy Skills 

  • Page 7: Ask “Why aren’t there any carrots?” (Rabbit ate them.)
  • Page 25: Ask about Ms. Sprat’s feelings. (She is second guessing making rabbit pie because Hodge is cute and cuddly and sweet.)

Transition: After reading, ask the children about the setting on the book (Mrs. Sprat’s garden). Use this talking point to introduce the next Activity.

“There’s Something in My Garden”

Untitled design (3)

Bring puppets and have the children guess the animals you have in your bag after reciting a short rhyme. You can say this rhyme as a call and response, which I have found to hold students’ attention better.

“There’s Something in My Garden”
There’s something in my garden
What could it be?
There’s something in my garden that I can’t really see….
I hear its funny sound…
A frog is what I found!
A rabbit is what I found!
A butterfly is what I found!
A grasshopper is what I found!
My kitty is who I found!

Take this activity a step further by having students guess fruits and vegetables as well.

There are some fruits and vegetables  in my garden too!
I have one that is yellow and grows on a tree.
I have one that is red and kind of squishy.
I have one that is smelly and might make you cry.
I have one that is purple and grows on a vine.

Transition: A lot happened in our first story. Can you remember all the characters we read about? (Challenge the children to also bring up the buzzard as a character) Let’s talk about the buzzard! He is a character, too. He is a bird of prey, which means he hunts small animals instead of seeds and worms like most other birds. I have another book here about a hawk, another bird of prey.

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari

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Reading for Literacy Skills 

  • Page 4: Ask students if they can tell what time of the day it is in the story. Ask them to recall details that point to it being the morning time.
  • Page 6: Ask if they remember what “prey” means
  • Page 11: Ask if they remember what the chicks are waiting for. (Breakfast)
  • Page 25: Before he catches the squirrel, ask them to predict if the hawk will catch it or not.

Transition: You might not know this, but hawks also used to live in castles and help people hunt for food too (See the other great children’s book about hawks- The Hawk of the Castle by Danna Smith). Would you like to help me build a castle?  

Build a Flannelboard Castle

This activity is inspired by Miss Meg’s Storytime. Laminate several, colorful rectangles, large and small squares, triangles, and circles and have the children help you build a flannelboard castle!

Build a Castle 

  1. Hand out shape pieces 
  2. Instruct children: Look at your piece. When I call your shape, come up and stick it on the board to build a castle.  
  3. Call each type of shape:
    Big squares
    Small squares




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