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Shake Dem Halloween Bones

Last updated Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Author: W. Nikola-Lisa
Illustrator: Mike Reed
Date of Publication: 2000
ISBN: 0395730953
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2004

Synopsis: It's Halloween night. The city is quiet. The city is still. But as the lights go down, the music comes up - and the guests start to arrive at the hip-hop Halloween ball! And oh, what a party it is. Told in hip-hop rhyming text, L'il Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Tom Thumb, and all of their fairy-tale friends come together for a rapping, stomping, shaking Halloween romp.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Make a list of fairy tale characters, and be sure the ones appearing in the story are on that list. Discuss each fairy tale very briefly.
•  Do you like to sing and dance? What kind of songs do you sing? What kind of dances do you dance? Teach the kids the "Shake, shake, shake dem Halloween Bones" chorus beforehand, and encourage them to chime in with the chorus when it appears in the story during the reading.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  The characters in the story all showed up to the party in various costumes. How will you be dressing up for Halloween?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Halloween mask of your favorite fairy tale character.
•  Make a shaker by taping shut a cardboard tube or paper cup filled with candy corns, popcorn, or rice. Re-read the story and have the kids provide percussion during the "Shake, shake, shake" chorus.

Special activities:
•  Make up a melody and dance to accompany the "Shake, shake, shake" chorus. Then create a two-line verse for each kid, such as "Here's Ana wearing white ... She'll be dancing all through the night!" Sing the verse, and have the kids sing and dance the chorus. Repeat for each child.

*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!