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    language arts lesson
    By Chelsea McClellan

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    A Read-Aloud Experience
    Lesson Plan

    Audience: second grade

    Book: Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen and Mark Buehner

    Time: approximately 60 minutes

    PRE-READING ACTIVITIES: GETTING CHILDREN INTO THE BOOK

    1. Ask children to name things that farmers grow on their farms.
    2. Write these down on the chalk board as they dictate.
    3. Ask children to tell you where these things grow, or on what do they grow. Instead
    of dictation, have them write this information next to the appropriate crop or animal
    listed on the board. You may need a step ladder so they can reach.
    4. Have children tell you what these plants and animals must have to grow, i.e. sun,
    water, and soil. Make a list of these answers on the board.
    5. Finally, ask children to choose which of the animals are most commonly found on a
    farm.

    READING ACTIVITIES: GETTING CHILDREN THROUGH THE BOOK

    1. Tell children that as they listen to the story, they should spend time focusing on the
    pictures. Pay attention; certain animals can be found in every picture. As we read,
    see how many you can find over and over again.
    2. Break children into groups of two or three and give them each a copy of the book.
    3. Do not interrupt the story once you begin reading, unless a child has a comment or
    question about the book. This particular book is written in such a way that
    pauses for discussion would be disruptive.

    POST-READING ACTIVITIES: GETTING CHILDREN BEYOND THE BOOK

    1. Staying in groups, give each group a certain page and have them find all of the
    animals that are hidden in the illustrations. Look hard; some are tricky.
    2. Have one member from each group stand up and show the class which animals they
    found and where they found them.
    3. Give clues to help them find the ones they missed.
    4. Ask children if they noticed how the weather changed during the book. What do
    you think it means?
    5. Pass out the paper and the coloring pens. Discuss the ending of the book. Harvey
    grows the little girl a giant balloon, and she flies off in it for parts unknown. When
    she reaches her destination, she grows a crop of her own balloons. What is different
    about the way she grows her balloons?


    6. Have each child imagine themselves floating away in their own giant balloon.
    Where does it land? How would you grow your balloons? Are they ordinary
    balloons? Do you have to do anything special to get them to grow?
    7. Have each child draw what they see in their heads and write a brief story about
    where they landed and how they grow their balloons.
    8. Pass out the index cards. Have each child write down a secret wish on the card.
    Tie one card on each helium balloon.
    9. Take the children with their balloons outside. On the count of three, have them
    release their balloons.
    10. Post the pictures and stories on the wall of the classroom



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