Which Way to Witch School?

Last updated Friday, October 11, 2013

Author: Scott Santoro
Illustrator: Scott Santoro
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 0060781823
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2013

Synopsis: Miss Thornapple's school is not like most other schools—it's a school for little witches! Little witches must learn how magic broomsticks fly and how to whip up their own potions. Sometimes they swim in swamps, and other times they explore the haunted old forest. And what's served for dinner in the dining hall? Gooey eyeballs! There's no telling what might happen at Miss Thornapple's school. But one thing is for sure: Even young witches have lessons to learn.

Note to readers:
•  Notice in the dedication page that the author was the same age as 1st graders when his mother helped him with his "first attempt at a picture book when I was six years old".

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What's the difference between the words "which" and "witch"?
•  What classes do you think the witches take at witch school?

•  cruel - very mean
•  locale - a place
•  potion - a liquid mixture, especially one that is magical
•  commotion - a lot of noise, confusion, and excitement
•  recall - to remember (something) from the past
•  tentacles - long, flexible arms of an animal (such as an octopus) that are used for grabbing things and moving
•  smuggle - to sneak something in or out of a place
•  transparent - see-through
•  screech - a loud and very high cry or scream
•  pragmatic - dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical
•  dramatic - expressions of lots of action or emotion
•  tourist - a person who travels for pleasure, usually sightseeing
•  cast a spell - the use of magic to bewitch
•  sentimental - very emotional

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What items would you pack, if you could get all your things in your hat?
•  Which classes at witch school do you also have at your school? (mathematics, physical education)
•  Are you looking forward to taking more classes, like chemistry and physics?
•  What play do the witches perform? (The Wizard of Oz)
•  Why would it be dangerous to swim in a swamp?
•  What classes at witch school look the most fun? (You can go around the room & ask each student to say what their favorite part of the book.)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a witch hat. Draw a circle on black or dark paper & cut in half to make the cone. Cut a larger circle for the brim of the hat & punch a hole in the middle. Make the opening a bit smaller than the cone, but large enough for a kid to wear. Glue the cone onto the brim (may want to fold tabbed pieces of the brim to the inside of the cone). (see sample)
•  Make a big castle witch school. Cut windows & doors in the castle, glue onto a larger paper, then draw pictures in the windows, such as witches, ghosts, monsters, & themselves. (see sample)

*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!