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Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success

Last updated Thursday, November 2, 2006

Author: John Wooden and Steve Jamison
Illustrator: Susan Cornelison
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0756914108
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2006

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: Mr. Wooden the owl gives his two pupils, Inch the inchworm and Miles the mouse, one final assignment before summer vacation--to define success. To put them on the right track, his whistle takes the two students on a magical adventure in which they meet different animals and explore the various components of success.

Note to readers:
•  This book is lengthy and somewhat abstract. Read the beginning pages (4-7), and skip to the most engaging pages where you can read the poem and discuss how the picture and animal represent this trait. Suggestions of pages to read: hard work, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, determination, fitness, and team spirit. If you do not read all pages, the idea of the pyramid may be confusing, and you might instead talk about the traits as ?ingredients? for success

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is success? What does it mean to be successful? How does it feel to be successful?
•  What does it mean to do 100% your best? Give examples of how you can give 100% in school? In sports? In other activities?
•  Discuss the words that make up the pyramid. Have the kids give you examples of each of the words.
•  How can these traits help when playing sports? What sports would each trait be most helpful for?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Ask if anyone knows how to whistle. Allow the children to ?whistle in? the next character as Inch and Miles travel along meeting the characters.
•  Discuss the animals in the book and how they have the traits that they teach Inch and Miles about.
•  At each trait: Do you know anyone who is or who shows this trait?
•  At each trait: What noise does this animal make? What movements do they make? Can you move/sound like this animal?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a mask of one of the animals from the book using construction paper and yarn. Write that animal?s word on the mask.
•  Draw your favorite animal playing your favorite sport.
•  On page 38, Inch and Miles are at the top of the pyramid with a ?success? flag. Draw and decorate your own success flag.
•  Make an interlocking chain/necklace out of construction paper. Cut 1-2 inch strips of paper and decorate each one with a different trait. Staple or glue the two ends of a strip together to make a circle. Interlock the circles as you glue them to make a chain or necklace.

*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!