A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School...

Last updated Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Benjamin Chaud
Date of Publication: 2015
ISBN: 1452131686
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2016

Synopsis: First, some giant ants steal breakfast. Then there are the evil ninjas, massive ape, mysterious mole people, giant blob, and countless other daunting (and astonishing) detours along the way to school. Are these excuses really why this student is late? Or is there another explanation that is even more outrageous than the rest? This is a fast-paced, actionpacked, laugh-out-loud story about finding the way to school despite the odds — and the unbelievable oddness!

Note to readers:
•  Some of the "excuses" make references to fairy tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Pied Piper).

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  How do you get to school? walk, someone drives me, etc.
•  Have you ever been late to school? What happened?
•  Look at the cover - what kind of book do you think this is?
•  Vocabulary
•  vanquishing - vanquish means to defeat thoroughly: "Mexican forces vanquished the French army in a battle in Puebla" synonyms: conquer · defeat · beat · trounce · rout · triumph over
•  majorette - girl or woman who marches with a band and spins a baton.
•  mistook - past tense of mistake
•  colossal -.extremely large: "a colossal amount of mail" · synonyms: huge · massive · enormous · gigantic · giant · mammoth Comes from the Colossus of Rhodes.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How/When/Why do you use your imagination?
•  Did the boy in the story use his imagination to make excuses for being late to school? What were some of his "excuses"?
•  What excuses have you used to get out of something?

Craft ideas:
•  Think of a funny/silly excuse for being late for school, THEN draw your original imagined excuse for being late for school.
•  Draw your school and classroom with you, your new teacher and classmates.
•  Make a THANK YOU card for your teacher.
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/september-2016-back-to-school/

Special activities:
•  Have the kids come up with real versus imagined excuses Examples: 1. I forgot my homework versus 2. I flew to the moon. The other kids can guess real or imagined.

*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!