Max Spaniel Discussion Guide
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
If you’re looking for a great Easy Reader that will appeal to both boys and girls, look no further than David Catrow’s adorable dog, Max Spaniel! Join Max as he uses his imagination to discover a dinosaur in his own backyard. Young readers will have fun learning to read with the clever but predictable text, while poring over the detailed illustrations.
Use Max to build skills in the five areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Your students will love learning to read with Max!
√ Phonemic Awareness:
Make rhyme paddles using a popsicle stick or tongue depressor and cardstock and provide one for each child or simply have children raise their hand when they hear a rhyming pair. Then read the following word pairs from the story aloud: spy/eye, bed/rib, knee/neck, hips/lips, jaw/claw, tail/toe. Which of these rhyme?
Have students create additional sets of words in teams of two. Or have the class create pairs of cards with rhyming words. Place all the pairs on the floor or on a table face-down, and play the memory game “Concentration.”
After reading Dinosaur Hunt aloud once for fun, reread it and make a list of words that have short vowel sounds.
Have students draw a picture to show what they know about these words from the story:
Rereading of text is the single best way to build fluency. Send home this chart with readers to check off as they accomplish their fluency goal.
Read to self
Read to friend
Read to parent
Answer the following questions after reading the story:
- What does Max want to find?
- What does he take with him on the hunt?
- Where does Max hunt? Why?
- How does Max use his imagination? How do you?
Have More Fun with Max – Across the Curriculum!
Create a dinosaur or other creature using materials from a recycler or junk drawer to create a tabletop monster, inspired by Max’s discovery in his yard.
Sing these words to the tune of “Frère Jacques”
Max is hunting, dinosaur hunting
While outside, he can’t hide,
Part by part he finds him, bit by bit he sees him,
Dino walks, dino walks!
Or make up your own song about Max.
Max says, “A great hunter knows where to look.” What would you tell Max a great reader does to figure out a word he doesn’t know while he’s reading? Make a bookmark for Max.
Add up the objects Max uses to make his dinosaur. How else can you add up to this number? Can you think of three ways to get to it? Five?
Research your favorite dinosaur and create a poster or picture about what you learned.
Or, make a graphic organizer based on the parts of the dinosaur that Max puts together. What other animals have all these same parts?
Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt by David Catrow (0-545-05748-5, $6.99) may be purchased from your local bookstore or usual supplier, or from Scholastic, 2931 East McCarty Street, P.O. Box 7502, Jefferson City, MO 65102 (Call toll free 1-800-724-6527)
This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist and children’s author. Visit her website at www.tracievaughzimmer.com to find hundreds of guides to children’s literature.