Tap-Dance Fever

Last updated Monday, March 5, 2012

Author: Pat Brisson
Illustrator: Nancy Cote
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 1590782909
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2012

Synopsis: From School Library Journal:
Annabelle Applegate's tapping toes have worn out the linoleum in her mama's kitchen and dug a hole in the schoolhouse floor. The townsfolk are upset by her antics and blame her for their problems, including broken eyeglasses and chickens that refuse to lay eggs. They put obstacles in her path, and Deputy Thistledown steals her tap shoes, but nothing stops Annabelle's enthusiasm for dancing. One day, she encounters dozens of rattlesnakes near Mrs. Pontoon's henhouse, and they dance along with her. She leads them to the fairgrounds stage, and in no time becomes a champion and celebrity. Tourists come from miles around, and the town prospers.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know how to dance?
•  What is your favorite kind of dancing?
-Can you show us?
•  What do you know about rattle snakes?
-Should you play with them?

•  Paraphernalia: Equipment used for a particular activity
•  Refuse: Trash, rubbish
•  Debonair: Suave, urbane, genial
•  Hankering: Strong desire
•  Civic duty: Responsibility, obligation to society
•  Linoleum: Flooring

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever tap-danced?
•  Why is it called tap-dancing?
•  Why wouldn’t Annabelle stop dancing?
•  Are you passionate about doing something?

Craft ideas:
•  Construction paper chain snake
-Cut construction paper strips
-Have the kids decorate them
-Roll the strips into a circle
-Link them through each other (closing the end with tape).
-Make a face with googly eyes (GLCs: request these from the R2K office) and a tongue.
-Make a rattle for the end

Special activities:
•  Have the kids get up and make movements that match the sounds – tappity tap, slappity-skipped, tippity-hopped. Encourage them to make up new dance steps.

*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!