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The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash

Last updated Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Author: Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Date of Publication: 1980
ISBN: 0803717237
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2004

Synopsis: When Jimmy's unusual pet accompanies him on his class trip, an ordinary jaunt to a farm turns into a hilarious, slapstick romp.

Note to readers:
•  Hear and see the first two chapters of this book read aloud on YouTube

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever been on a class trip before? Was it fun, or boring? Why?
•  Do you ever day dream, or make up stories about things that happen? Example?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Was the story real, or made up? Why do you think the girl made up the story?
•  What would you have done if you had been on the field trip?

Craft ideas:
•  Write a letter from the boa to Jimmy telling him about life on the farm after they left, and illustrate.
•  Make up a story about a trip to the zoo, grocery store, etc., with an animal, and illustrate.
•  Cut out a paper pet, and tell the rest of the group about the trouble it can cause.

Special activities:
•  Sit in a circle, and create an oral story with the children, with each person adding a bit to the story. Have one volunteer start with the beginning of the story, a few sentences, and a cliffhanger to go to the next person: "We went on a class field trip to the zoo. It was fine until the elephant ate Suzie?s lunch. At that moment, there was a scream, and I saw..." You may want to make a list of things people see at the zoo first.

*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!