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Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are

Last updated Monday, July 7, 2014

Author: Maria Dismondy
Illustrator: Kimberly Shaw-Peterson
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0984855807
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2014

Synopsis: How can Ralph be so mean? Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy's defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever eaten spaghetti in a hot dog bun? Do you think it would taste good?
•  How do you eat your spaghetti?
•  What kind of sandwiches do you eat?
•  Do you have the courage to be who you are? What do you think that means?

•  courage - strength in overcoming fear and carrying on against difficulties
•  carelessly - not paying enough attention to what one does
•  tremble - to shake uncontrollably
•  hesitated - to stop or pause because of uncertainty
•  immediately - to do something at once or right away

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who does Lucy live with?
•  How did Ralph tease Lucy? Is teasing okay?
•  How did Lucy feel after Ralph teased her? Why do you think he was teasing her?
•  What did Papa Gino tell Lucy about people?
•  Is Harriet a good friend? If so, how is she a good friend?
•  Would you have helped Ralph off the monkey bars after he had teased you?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a hot dog bun out of construction paper (cut in half first, then fold longways or "hot dog style" & cut the ends to make curved). Fill your hot dog bun with your favorite foods - cut out in different colors & glue or tape inside the bun. You can also fill with "spaghetti" by using lots of curling yellow ribbon (volunteers - we have lot of yellow ribbon, so you can encourage kids to use more than what is in the sample).

Special activities:
•  Have the kids sit together like in the cafeteria and talk about their crafted foods.

*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!