Teaching a Slug to Read?

July 13, 2011

I featured this book at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute in June. What a fun title! I love the way a list of how to do somethings was integrated with speech-bubble interjections and narrative. David Slonim hooked me with his illustrations. This book is a great example of a “How To” book. Older kids could use it as an example to create a book for younger student on a subject they know a lot about. You could use this publishing technique for an All About Unit of Study.

In How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson,a slug wants to learn to read. A young boy shares with him and his mother the steps to reading, from making sure the slug can see the pictures and words to stretching out sounds. The author and illustrator use well-known books and create books with a slug as the them in the background illustrations and poems. For example, instead of the book The Cat in the Hat, they have The Slug in the Hat.

The book demonstrates how children should ask questions about their reading, including vocabulary or unknown words.

“What’s a tuffet?”

A tuffet is a low seat.”

Savorings for reading and in writing for How to Teach a Slug to Read:

  • Interjection
  • Speech bubbles
  • Persistence – reading takes time to learn
  • Vocabulary
  • List book – how to learn to do something
  • Book jacket – mentions Susan spends lots of time in her garden – probably where an idea came from

Warsaw Community Public Library new book (2011)