July 7, 2011

Steven Kroll with S. D. Schindler creates the classic telephone game into a great story in The Tyrannosaurus Game. Jimmy begins a story  that continues around the classroom circle. Each student adds on to the adventure from where the previous student ended. As the reader, you are surprised with each adventure as you transition from page to page. This book is a fun way to show visualizing. As each character shares their part, S.D. Schindler illustrates the student’s thinking. The illustrations accent the action. It’s an excellent example to show young children detail in the setting. You could also use this book as an example for a class story.

As you are reading, this book lends itself to teaching predictions. You have a sense of where the story is leading, especially through the setting. Yet, the action is surprizing.

Because each scene is not predictable, the topic of revision could arise. Different predictions of what happens next can demonstrate the power of revision. Revising is changing. Students often see revising their writing as being wrong, when in fact it’s a playful technique to clarify meaning.

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Tyrannosaurus Game:

  • Visualizing
  • Transitions – Last Saturday; each student’s scene is connected
  • Action – careful word choice creates high action
  • Ending – leaves you wondering – were the other animals  in the garden part of stories like the dinosaur?
  • All of a Sudden/ Suddenly