Let’s Explore His Books…
The Snowy Day:
The Snowy Day is certainly Ezra Jack Keats most popular book. It’s perfect for winter when snow days are a strong possibility. Peter is the main character, and he spends his day making the most of the snow.
This unit includes all you need to celebrate this book with a comprehension and writing focus. Click the image to learn more.
A Letter to Amy
Another favorite of mine is A Letter to Amy. Every child loves celebrating his or her birthday, and this sweet book is all about Peter’s. He wants to invite Amy to his party, but is nervous she’ll say no. This unit is a great get to know you set. It includes 20+ pages of activities focused on primary ELA skills in a before-during-after format as all of my units are. More details can be found using the link provided.
Whistle for Willie:
Whistle for Willie is my favorite. I am a dog lover, so this one just connects to me. My first grade kids love it too, and it’s so fun to hear your students’ dog stories. If kids can’t connect to the pet theme, almost all can connect to learning to whistle.
This unit includes 15 pages. There is a schema builder plus vocabulary and comprehension skills as well as a themed writing option and poem.
Many kids unfortunately have had to deal with bigger kids who often pick on them. This book is really good for discussing what to do when you’re picked on. The boys work together to outsmart the bullies, but there are better ways to handle these stressors.
Included in this unit are themed pages for group discussion as well as comprehension, vocabulary, and writing options. The unit is great for mentor text lessons.
Regards to the Man on the Moon
This lesser known title is great for space studies or to spark discussions of creativity. The kids in the story are so creative and they use their imaginations to describe what they feel space travel would be like.
The unit includes before-during-after activities and includes a fun glyph activity for you and your students. The unit was recently updated (2019) too.
The last book in my bundle is Peter’s Chair. If you have a student expecting a new baby in the home, this book is just what you need. In fact, it’s a nice one to give as a gift. Peter is not excited about sharing his things. They are special even though his body is too big for them. Like the other books, the before-during-after organization makes planning easy and effective. Your students will love it.
Get Them All
Activities You Can Add to Your Study:
- Visit Ezra Jack Keats Official Website for lots of author information, story introductions, and related activities.
- Read along with and/listen to his books through Youtube [here]
- Check out Scholastic’s resources [here]
- Practice letter writing. Set up a class post office system where a student delivers the mail each day. (A Letter to Amy)
- Develop an Anti-Bullying Plan (Goggles)
- Create How-to paragraphs on whistling. (Whistle for Willie)
- Bring in Keats’ other books-The Pet Show, Dreams, Hi Cat!, Louie, and Skates. Compare and contrast across texts with a focus on characters.
- Create projects highlighting the books. There are enough titles that you could pair students to work together for an amazing celebration at the end of your author study.
What ideas do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments. Author studies are great fun, and they help students meet great authors. I hope you’ll include Keats in your author study list!