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Randy Riley's Really Big Hit

Last updated Monday, November 3, 2014

Author: Chris Van Dusen
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0763649465
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2014

Synopsis: Randy likes space, robots, and baseball, but he can't ace everything . . . or can he? Chris Van Dusen knocks one out of the park with a comical ode to ingenuity.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is Randy standing on top of? (open book cover to see the entire robot)
•  Where is Randy? (baseball field)
•  Have you every played baseball or softball?

•  tremble - to shake involuntarily, as from fear or anxiety
•  gravity - The force of attraction that moves or tends to move bodies towards the centre of a celestial body, such as the earth or moon.
•  constellation - An arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or design, especially one of 88 recognized groups named after characters from classical mythology and various common animals and objects.
•  diagram - A plan, sketch, drawing, or outline designed to demonstrate or explain how something works or to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole.
•  welded - Joined (metals) together by applying heat, sometimes with pressure and sometimes with an intermediate or filler metal having a high melting point.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What have you learned about space? Can you name all of the planets?
•  Have you seen constellations in the night sky?
•  What would you do if a fireball was headed to Los Angeles?
•  How many batteries are needed to energize the robot?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a telescope out of paper towel rolls.
•  Make a robot puppet with a paper bag or on paper. Cut colorful squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles (you can use this time to help the kids practice learning basic shapes).
•  Draw a baseball diamond with a mini paper robot at bat.

*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!