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Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 4)

Last updated Monday, July 3, 2017

Author: Jeff Kinney
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0810983915
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2017

Synopsis: It's summer vacation, the weather's great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where's Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn. Greg, a self-confessed "indoor person," is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg's mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and "family togetherness." Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

Note to readers:
•  The kids will probably be familiar with this series and the characters.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you want to do this summer? Are you going to study? Are you going somewhere? Who will you spend time with?
•  Can you name five fun things to do outside this summer? (play soccer, swim, take a hike in the mountains to see waterfalls, watch a show or concert in the park, go to the zoo, play on the swings, miniature golf.....)
•  Can you name five fun things to do inside during the summer? (read)


•  Dog Days – why do we call summer dog days? This is the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. 2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence. Origin of dog days. Latin.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  (Page 1) ‘I’ve always been more of an indoor person.’ Ask the children to discuss. Is it good to always play indoors? Do they miss out on anything if they don’t play outdoors? Do their parents insist the children play outside? Why do the children think they do that? What are the benefits?
•  (Page 3) What is a country club?
•  (Page 13) Greg likes to stay up all night playing video games and sleep during the day. Do the children think this is acceptable? Why do they think their parents want them to sleep at night and be active during the day?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of yourself playing indoors, then draw a picture of yourself outside on the other half of the page (or other side).
•  Word search (provided).
•  Draw a picture of what summer fun means to you.
•  Check our craft ideas for July on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Read pages 49–51 to the kids. Create some business ideas to raise money. Explain that Greg and Rowley needed to make money fast. Ask the class if they think that Greg and Rowley planned their business idea properly. What mistakes did they make? What would the children have done differently to make the business a success?

*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!