Friday, March 6, 2009

Crocodile's Toothache

Yesterday we did a great activity on visualization. We have been working really hard on learning how to use different strategies while reading. The kids are learning that in order to be able to truly comprehend what they are reading, they have to have some tricks to use to examine their reading. We've started talking about how all good readers picture the reading in their head. We've compared this to watching a movie in your head of what you are reading. This is a technique that good readers should do. I began the activity by reading Shel Silverstein's poem "Crocodile's Toothache." As I read the poem, the kids had to draw a picture of that they were hearing, or what they thought it looked like. When I first introduced visualizing, they didn't quite understand what I meant. After the kids finished their picture, we had a chance to look at each others work and examine them. We had a discussion about what similarities there were in our pictures, and what the differences were. At the end, when the kids were asked "How did you know that's what it looked like? I didn't tell you, or describe it to you," they then understood that this was visualizing the reading. Here's the poem and a few examples of their drawings. This is a fun activity you can do at home. Read aloud to them, and have them draw what they see. Later, it's an good way to practice retelling the story using only their drawings.
Crocodile's Toothache
The Crocodile
Went to the dentist
And sat down in the chair,
And the dentist said, "Now tell me, sir,
Why does it hurt and where?"
And the Crocodile said, "I'll tell you the truth,
I have a terrible ache in my tooth,"
And he opened his jaws so wide, so wide,
The the dentist, he climbed right inside,
And the dentist laughed, "Oh isn't this fun?"
As he pulled the teeth out, one by one.
And the Crocodile cried, "You're hurting me so!
Please put down your pliers and let me go."
But the dentist laughed with a Ho Ho Ho,
And he said, "I still have twelve to go-
Oops, that's the wrong one, I confess,
But what's one crocodile's tooth more or less?"
Then suddenly, the jaws went SNAP,
And the dentist was gone, right off the map,
And where he went one could only guess...
To North or South or East or West...
He left no forwarding address.
But what's one dentist, more or less?

Written by Shel Silverstein

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