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What Was I Scared Of? A Glow-in-the-Dark Encounter

Last updated Friday, October 11, 2013

Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0375853421
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2013

Synopsis: Perfect for Halloween, this splendidly silly story about a narrator terrorized by an empty pair of pants (which happens to be equally terrified of the narrator) works perfectly well the rest of the year, too, delivering a timeless message about fear and tolerance to boot. Scaredy-pants of all ages will quiver with delight!

Note to readers:
•  It probably won't be dark enough in the classrooms to show the glow-in-the-dark pictures. You can have the kids point out which pictures they think will glow during or after you read the story. Remind the kids that this book will be in their library, so they can check it out & see the glow-in-the-dark pictures at home (they will need to hold each picture up to a lamp or flashlight, then turn the light off to see it glow).
•  This is a short book, so you might want to do a picture walk before or after reading the story. The kids can point out the glow-in-the-dark picutres during a picture walk.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think this book is about?
•  Have you ever read another book by Dr. Seuss?
•  What looks scary on the cover?
•  What is the character on the cover scared of? Does he look scared?

•  encounter - a meeting, especially one that is unplanned, unexpected, or brief
•  spied - to see or notice (someone or something)
•  thumping - the heart beating very fast from nervousness
•  fetch - to go get something and bring it back
•  hook, line and bait - fishing pole
•  britches - pants
•  tremble - to shake uncontrollably
•  whimpering - crying or sobbing with soft intermittent sounds; whining
•  dreadful - extremely unpleasant; distasteful or shocking; horrible

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  It looks like the pants have no trouble running and riding a bike, but how are they able to row a boat?
•  Do you think the pants are really empty? Is there a ghost wearing pants? Do the pants only come out at night?
•  Does a Brickel bush look like a good place to hide? Does it look comfortable?
•  Why was the character afraid of the pants?
•  Who was more afraid - the main character or the pants?
•  How did the main character and the pants become friends?
•  Have you ever been frightened by something unusual?
•  How do you stop being scared of something?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a spooky or fun character & cut out bright colored pants for your character. You can use very light crayons on dark paper.
•  Make empty pants. Cut a strip of paper for the waistband & 2 smaller cylinders for legs (can use a marker to roll the paper). Glue the legs to the inside of the waistband.
•  Make a spooky nighttime scene (see sample). Cut out tree branches with black or dark brown paper & glue onto dark blue paper. Draw stars & the moon.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!