Drawing Conclusions (and more) with The Amazing Bone

Of the many authors to choose from, William Steig is a go-to for mentor text lessons in the upper grades. Finding picture books that work well for older readers can be tough, and although these books appear to be simple if you judge by the cover, they truly are not. William Steig's writing style and rich vocabulary make them more appropriate for grades three to five.

Today, I'd like to share one you may not be familiar with, The Amazing Bone. This book, at first glance, reminded me of Halloween, but aside from finding a bone, it has nothing at all to do with that time of year. In fact, it is a fractured fairy tale, and don't we love those? The comparison is subtle, but as kids finish the book, they will make the connection.


Rich vocabulary, descriptive language, and a focus on characterization equals the perfect book for author's craft. Check out this post for other teaching ideas for The Amazing Bone by William SteigAs I mentioned, this book is very rich with vocabulary, and I think that makes the book perfect for imagery and visualizing, characterization and character change, and descriptive writing. Author's craft is the culmination of several reading skills. As you analyze the text, each of these skills contribute to the overall writing style. To analyze author's craft, I like using column notes where students can read about specific story examples and add their impressions. These notes support student thinking and discussion.


Another fun skill that would work well with this text is characterization and character change. Pearl begins the story very distracted and playful. She dawdles on her way home from school checking out all of the happenings in town (like many of our kiddos do). She goes into the woods where she sits down to relax and hears the bone speak to her. Startled, but not afraid, she carries on a conversation and decides to take the bone home with her. 

In the next scene, she's approached by a group of robbers, but guess what? She pulls out the magic bone that speaks and sends the robbers running, so readers see her courage. 

Enter Mr. Fox, and this time, she trusts him and goes home with him. Finally, she figures out what he's up to and remembers the bone. Saved! 

Characterization can also be studied by comparing The Amazing Bone with Little Red Riding Hood using the Venn Diagram included. 


This post features the book, The Amazing Bone by William Steig. This Drawing Conclusions freebie can be used with the book, but there are other teaching ideas within the post too. The last skill that I think fits this book well is drawing conclusions. As the story unfolds, students can draw conclusions about Pearl, about the bone, about magic, and more. The freebie to the right is one you can use with this book. You might also like [THIS FREEBIE IN MY STORE] It includes an anchor chart for modeling and additional organizer you can use with other texts to teach the skill.

Children need lots of practice with drawing conclusions. It is one of the toughest comprehension skills we teach because it requires such deep thinking. Check out this fun and exciting hands on project for drawing conclusions! This paper bag mini book project offers multiple instructional activities for teaching and practicing drawing conclusions.
Drawing conclusions is tough to teach, so we need lots of strategies to keep in our back pockets. If you find your kids struggle with it, you might check out the Drawing Conclusions Paper Bag Mini Book project I just uploaded today. It can be used as a project or in your interactive notebooks. This project features two other mentor texts, The Widow's Broom by Chris VanAllsburg and Brave Irene also by William Steig. To learn more, click the image to the left. The project is $3.50 in my store.


The Amazing Bone by William Steig is a fun fractured fairy tale. It is very rich with vocabulary and depth, and it works well for modeling many reading skills. This unit includes a comprehension focus for characterization, drawing conclusions, author's craft, and more.24 pages for $4.00.Well, I've shared a few uses with this book as well as a lesson freebie, but certainly, there are additional options to explore. Here is a list of the skills included in the full book companion unit:
⭐ Schema Builder
⭐ Vocabulary Organizer and word cards
⭐ Story Elements Flap Book
⭐ Drawing Conclusions Practice 
⭐ Studying Author's Craft Anchor Chart and Column Notes
⭐ Analyzing Character Change Project
⭐ Question Task Cards
⭐ Making Comparisons across Story Elements
⭐ Writing in Response to Reading (True Story of Little Red Riding Hood

Have a great week! Now it's time to get to planning FOR TOMORROW! Eek!

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The Amazing Bone by William Steig is a fun fractured fairy tale. It is very rich with vocabulary and depth, and it works well for modeling many reading skills. This post includes a comprehension focus for characterization, drawing conclusions, author's craft, and more.

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