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Mr. Peabody's Apples

Last updated Thursday, February 20, 2020

Author: Madonna
Illustrator: Loren Long
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0670058831
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2004

Synopsis: Mr. Peabody is the beloved elementary school teacher and baseball coach, who one day finds himself ostracized when rumors spread through the small town. Mr. Peabody silences the gossip with an unforgettable and poignant lesson about how we must choose our words carefully to avoid causing harm to others.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does gossip mean? What does it mean to spread rumors?
•  Do you hurt someone when you gossip about them? How?
•  Do you think that it?s possible to misunderstand something that you see?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was the meaning of having Tommy cut open the pillow and have the feathers fly?
•  What should Tommy have done when he saw Mr. Peabody take the apples?
•  Are words powerful? How?
•  Could Tommy repair the damage? How? What would you do?

Craft ideas:
•  Write a newspaper story about what happened, complete with illustration.
•  As a craft, create something that represents a rumor spreading, other than feathers in the wind.

Special activities:
•  Take one color of construction paper per student and volunteer and give it to them. Have them rip it up into smaller pieces. Have everyone exchange the pieces of paper with eachother, giving their color paper, and receiving others. When done, talk about the idea that each color was that person?s secret, and how it spread to everyone else.
•  Play the telephone game.

*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!