Break the Code!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
based on Ready, Freddy! The King of Show-and-Tell
by Abby Klein
About the Book
First-grader Freddy Thresher has a problem. He wants to outshine his classmate Robbie, who is nearly King of Show-and-Tell. But what can Freddy bring to class that will get more oohs and ahhs than Robbie's cool alligator head?
The solution emerges when Freddy finds a baby bird. Freddy manages to sneak the bird into class and share it at Show-and-Tell. Oohs and ahhs abound. Freddy is King of Show-and-Tell, at least for the day.
Set the Stage
Most students know what show-and-tell is, but ask a volunteer to explain it. What are some show-and-tell items youve brought to school? What were some comments made by your classmates?
Explain that the main character of this book, Freddy, has a problem related to show-and-tell. Think back to when you prepared to bring an item to class. What might Freddys problem be? Brainstorm some possibilities.
Use these questions to discuss the story with the class:
- What was Freddys original problem?
- Who was King of Show-and-Tell at the beginning of the story? Who was at the end? What happened?
- What risks did Freddy take to bring Winger to school?
- How did Freddy know that he was King of Show-and-Tell at the end of the story?
- Do you think Suzie was a good sister to Freddy? Why or why not?
- How much time do you think has elapsed from the beginning of the story to the end? What makes you say that?
- Which is your favorite chapter in the book? Favorite picture? Why?
Most students love secret codes and messages. Students will enjoy applying symbol-to-letter correspondence to read a message extending the plot of the story.
To extend students enjoyment of the book, try these:
- Animal Classification: Have students make a list of kinds of animals in their neighborhood, including birds. Ask volunteers to illustrate each type, then place the pictures on the board. Ask students to sort the pictures by various criteria, such as how they move (fly, swim, crawl) or by habitat (pond, tree, underground).
- Welcome!: Invite a science expert or veterinarian to class to discuss what to do if someone finds an injured bird. Then have the class prepare a list of Dos and Donts. Illustrate the list and read the guidelines to a younger class.
- Whats Right, Whats Not?: Ask students to suggest specific items that would/would not be right for a show-and-tell event. (A tooth that fell out last night? An elephant?)
- Our Show-and-Tell Memory Book: Throughout the year, take a photo or ask students to draw a picture of each child and an item he or she brought for Show-and-Tell. Place the pictures in a memory album and review it at the end of the year. Then present it as a Show-and-Tell item for another class.