About This Book

Grade Level Equivalent: K-3

Lexile Framework: 540L

Reading Level: 3.7

Guided Reading Level: K

Age: 5-8

Genre: Comedy and Humor

Subject: Field Trips, Mischief, Pets, Farm and Ranch Animals, Elementary School

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Discussion Guide for

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash Discussion Guide

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash is about a young girl who retells the story of her class trip to a farm to her mother. As the mother questions her daughter about the trip, the daughter conveys the interesting series of events that took place. Without the teacher's knowledge, Jimmy brings his pet boa constrictor along on the class trip. The series of events get sillier and sillier, until finally Jimmy and his classmates are forced to leave the farm without the boa constrictor. However, all is not lost, for Jimmy has gained a pet pig!


  • Children will appreciate humor in storytelling.
  • Children will explore sequences of events.
  • Children will learn about farm animals.

Before Reading Activities

Share the book The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash with children. Then ask: Would you like to have gone on this class trip? Why? Why not?

Talk with children about visits they may have taken to a farm. Ask:

  • What kinds of animals did you see there?
  • Which were your favorite? Why?
  • Which animals seemed to be the silliest?
  • What kinds of things did farm animals eat?
  • What kinds of chores need to be done on a farm?

Discuss children's pets. Ask:

  • How long have you had your pet?
  • Where do you keep it?
  • How do you care for it?
  • What kinds of things do you like to do with your pet?
  • What is your pet's name?

After Reading Activities

Have children draw pictures of what they consider to be the silliest event of the story. Later, discuss the illustrations, asking children to describe the reasons for their choices.

Supply long lengths of yarn that children can use to represent boa constrictors. Have children glue the yarn onto pieces of cardboard. Then have children create simple stories about their boa constrictors. Display the stories, along with the ‘boa constrictors' in the classroom.

Have each child bring in an old colorful sock. Stuff each one with old rags or paper scraps. Then sew each one together to make a fantastic boa. Have the class make up a story to go with it.

If possible, visit a place where children can see a live boa constrictor. Encourage children to compare the boas they see to Jimmy's boa. Then ask:

  • How would you feel about bringing this boa on a class trip?
  • What do you think could happen if you brought it along on a trip to the library? the grocery store? the aquarium?

Other programs about animals available from Weston Woods include:

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble, ill. by Steven Kellogg

Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson, ill. by Jane Chapman

Rosie's Walk, by Pat Hutchins

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin, ill. by Betsy Lewin

Antarctic Antics, by Judy Sierra, ill. by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey

I, Crocodile, by Fred Marcellino

In the Small, Small Pond, by Denise Fleming

Possum Magic, by Mem Fox, ill. by Julie Vivas

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling, ill. by Jerry Pinkney

The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Andersen, ill. by Jerry Pinkney


For Public Library sales call 800-243-5020 / For School Library sales call 800-621-1115.

This guide may be photocopied for free distribution without restriction.

Copyright 2008 Weston Woods.

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