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Waking Dragons

Last updated Monday, March 23, 2015

Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Derek Anderson
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 1416990321
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2014

Synopsis: From Booklist: "For a young boy knight, it’s time for school, but as Mom’s note reminds him: “Don’t forget to wake the dragons” before leaving. Comical chaos begins as the boy, assisted by his canine companion, helps two huge, sleepy-eyed, fire-yawning dragons stumble from bed, brush their teeth, and eat waffles. Then, after helping “wipe their faces, / runny noses, / get into their / outdoor clothes-es” (which include flying goggles and jaunty scarves), the dragons kiss their dragon mom good-bye and fly away, after dropping the boy off at knight school."

Note to readers:
•  This is a very short book, so you could to do a picture-walk before or after reading.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who is waking the dragons?
•  What do you think will happen when the dragons wake up?

•  bumble - to speak ineptly in a stuttering and faltering manner; to move unsteadily
•  scamper - to run nimbly and usually playfully about

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who is the note on the front door to? Who wrote this note?
•  What is the dog holding when the dragon is brushing his teeth? Why is the dog holding a fire extinguisher?
•  What else do the dragons do in the morning?
•  What is your morning routine? Is it similar to the dragons' in the story?
•  Where are the dragons going? Where are they taking the little knight?

Craft ideas:
•  Color in the dragon face (template provided). The adult volunteers can cut it out and help glue it on construction paper.
•  Use the colored in dragon face from above to make a dragon mask. Use construction paper & add red, orange &/or yellow cut tissue paper for the fire.
•  If you had a castle, what would it look like? Would you have dogs &/or dragons as pets? Draw a castle with a knight & flying dragons.
•  Make a dragon puppet. Draw a face on a paper bag & add red, orange &/or yellow streamers or cut-out strips of tissue paper for the fire.

Special activities:
•  Play Simon says with the tasks the dragons do in the morning - sit down, then rise, open your eyes, blink your eyes, leap or hop, pretend to brush your teeth, pretend to eat breakfast, and pretend to fly to school.

*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!