Friday, September 18, 2015

Sloth Slept On - reading like a writer

Sloth Slept on
Sloth Slept On
By Frann Preston-Gannon
Published by Sterling Children's Books

I love finding new books that can be used as a reading or writing mentor text.  As I read Sloth Slept On, I knew I would have an audience in the younger grades.  Kindergarteners and first graders will enjoy listening to the story, laughing at the possibilities and pointing out what the audience can see, but the characters don't.

In Sloth Slept On, we first see a "Missing" poster from the zoo - it seems they've lost a sloth.  Of course, the characters don't see the poster, but they find the sloth.  Their first task, figure out what kind of animal they have discovered.  Seeing as they are very smart kids, they look in books to research their animal. The reading audience is already clued in about the sloth being missing from the zoo, but now they'll also see the one character that had the right book for finding out the identity of their found animal.  Of course a book like this also has to have a silly ending - it makes the giggles keep on coming!

  • We've heard authors say they often ask themselves "what if.....".  After students enjoy hearing this story, have them go back and read the book like a writer.  Find spots that the author might've asked herself, "what if??"  What if, since the sloth likes to sleep, no one can figure out what kind of animal it is?  What if, the sloth left the zoo and some children found it?  What if, the kids keep asking themselves questions about the animal to figure out what is is?
  • Take the time to note the end of the book where the author adds some information about sloths.  How did the author do this?  How did it help the story?  
  • Compare the ending of this book to Special Delivery by Philip Stead.
  • Read some more sloth books like Sparky by Jenny Offill and A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke.
Be sure to find Sloth Slept On at your local library or bookstore!

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