Noodles: I Love School! Storia Teaching Guide
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Noodles wanders into an elementary school to see what is going on. But the school suddenly seems big and scary—especially when a bell rings and students come rushing out. Noodles hides out in a cubby until he says, “That’s silly! School isn’t scary, it’s fun!” The brave little puppy marches right into a classroom during story time and makes friends with all the students. “I think I’ll come back tomorrow,” he says.
With an adorable puppy for a main character, the Noodles books are loved by both boys and girls. Each page features large illustrations and only a few short words, helping build confidence in young readers. This title is perfect for students who may be nervous about going to school.
Teaching the Book
Why do young children love Noodles? Because the adorable little dog thinks just like they do! This simple book carries an important message for students who are fearful about school and provides an opportunity to teach story parts to beginning readers. Students will engage in such activities as making a mini-book about school, drawing a dog, and writing a group story about Noodles.
Genre Focus: Picture Book
Comprehension Focus: Parts of a Story: Beginning, Middle, End
Language Focus: Opposites
Get Ready to Read
Model for young readers how to look closely at the illustrations in this picture book to learn about what is happening in the story. Project the book cover onto a whiteboard or screen or have students look at their own copies. Ask them to find the book title and the name of the author. Then direct students to look at the picture carefully.
Prompt students to “read” the illustration by asking the following questions: Who do you think the little dog is? What does he have his paws on? What things are in the backpack? Do you think the dog looks happy or sad? How can you tell?
Preview and Predict
Show students the first few pages of the book. Then ask them to predict what they think might happen in the story.
Introduce students to the story words below. Ask them to watch for the words as they read. Remind them to use clues in the pictures to help them figure out what the words mean. Use Resource #1: Vocabulary Cards and distribute copies to students.
- inside (p. 6)
- big (p. 8)
- lost (p. 13)
- scary (p. 21)
- silly (p. 24)
- tomorrow (p. 32)
Words to Know
Help students understand the vocabulary words by relating them to their opposites. Ask students to cut apart their vocabulary cards. Then display pages 6–7 on a whiteboard or screen. Ask students to explain where Noodles is going. Have them hold up the vocabulary card that tells where (inside). Ask students what the opposite of inside is (outside). Have them describe the inside of their school and the outside of their school. Continue the pattern for the rest of the vocabulary words.
- inside (p. 6)
- big (p. 8)
- lost (p. 13)
- scary (p. 21)
- silly (p. 24)
- tomorrow (p. 32)
As You Read
Reading the Book
Project the book on a whiteboard or screen for the first reading, if possible. Read the book aloud with fluency and expression, pointing to the text as you read the words and stopping to ask questions about the illustrations. Since the text is so spare, much of the story’s meaning comes from the pictures. Ask students to connect what they hear in the story to what they see in the pictures. Ask volunteers to point out picture details that explain how Noodles feels or what is happening in the story.
Reread the book and ask students to read their copies at the same time. Cue them to read aloud certain words and phrases that you omit from your reading. If students are able, encourage them to read the text aloud with you.
Big Question: Critical Thinking
Ask students to think about this question as they read. Write the question on chart paper or the whiteboard. Why does Noodles love school?
Parts of a Story: Beginning, Middle, End
Help students identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Sometimes it is challenging for young readers to identify the key points in a story. Condensing the story into three main sections encourages students to differentiate between the main points and the details of a story. It also helps them begin to understand how events are connected in a work of fiction. Model how to describe the main events in the first part, or beginning, of the story. Project Resource #2: Parts of a Story: Beginning, Middle, End on a whiteboard or screen.
Model: What happens at the beginning of this story about Noodles? I’ll look back at the first few pages of the book to remind myself. Let’s see . . . Noodles wants to know more about school, so he decides to go inside and explore. The most important thing that happens in the beginning of the story is: Noodles goes inside the school to explore. I’ll write that inside the first box. Now I want you to help me find the most important things that happens in the middle and end of the story.
Guide students to identify the most important thing that happens in the middle of the book—that Noodles gets scared and hides. Then ask students about the most important event at the end of the book—when Noodles joins a class for story time and makes friends.
After You Read
Questions to Discuss
Lead students in a discussion of these focus story elements.
1. Picture Book
Find the picture that shows when Noodles gets scared by a sound. Tell what is happening in the picture. (Sample answer: The bell at school is ringing and scares Noodles.)
2. Parts of a Story: Beginning, Middle, End
What happens that makes Noodles crawl out of the cubby in the middle of the book? (Sample answer: Noodles tells himself he is being silly. School isn’t scary . . . it’s fun!)
Name something that is big in your school. Name something that is little. (Sample answers: The gym, a crayon)
Questions to Share
Encourage students to share their responses with a partner or small group.
When does school seem scary to you? When does it seem fun?
Can dogs really go to school? What would school be like if dogs could attend?
Have you read other books about dogs? Compare another dog book to this book.
Content Area Connections
Read a Mini-book
Visit the Scholastic website to print out copies of the mini-book “Time for School” for students to read and color. Ask students what things in the book they like best about school. Click here for directions on how to put it together.
Transportation Picture Graph
Ask students how they get to school. Do they take a bus? Do they drive in a car? Do they walk? Work with students to create a picture graph that shows the number of students who take each kind of transportation. You can find a model graph at the Scholastic website.
Draw a Dog
Students who love Noodles and other dogs will enjoy trying to draw a dog on their own. There are several step-by-step instructions on the Internet to help students draw dogs including the More Coloring Pages website. The slideshow of steps gives students plenty of time to experiment with drawing their own dogs. When the pictures are finished, ask students to name their dogs and tell a story about them.
Remind students that Noodles is a make-believe dog; real dogs can’t go to school or talk! Ask students to play a true-or-false game with you about what they know about real dogs. Say each statement below; then ask students if it is true or false.
- A dog has three legs. (false)
- All dogs have hair. (true)
- A dog can learn tricks. (true)
- A mother dog has kittens. (false)
- Dogs are relatives of wolves. (true)
Reading/Oral Language Connection
Tell a Noodles Story
Explain to students that you are going to create a story about Noodles together. In it, Noodles will visit other parts of the school and have fun. Explain that students should begin each part of the story with a place Noodles visits. Then someone else will tell what fun thing Noodles does there. Then everyone will add, “Noodles says, ‘I love school.’” Model the first part of the story. “Noodles goes to the school cafeteria. He eats a hot dog. Noodles says, ‘I love school.’” Write down the story as students add new parts to the story. Suggest that Noodles visit other parts of the school including the gym, the art corner, the block area, and the computer.
Don't Forget the Big Question
Give each student a turn to answer the big question. Encourage them to give examples from the story or their own lives to support their answers. Why does Noodles love school?
School is Fun!
Talk with students about Noodles’s time at school. What does he think is most fun? Discuss how Noodles likes story time and making new friends. Then ask students to imagine that they are writing a book called School is Fun. What picture would they put on the cover? Distribute copies of the Big Activity: School is Fun! to students and read them the instructions. Have students work with a partner to decide how they will draw themselves having fun at school.
To assess and enhance students’ comprehension, this Storia e-book contains a Reading Challenge Quiz, as well as the following enrichments:
- Picture Starter
- Starting Letter
- Scratch & See
- Multiple Choice With Pictures
- Word Match
- Word Search
- Touch the Page
About the Author
Hans Wilhelm has written and illustrated more than 100 books for children. Readers all over the world have enjoyed his spunky, soccer-loving bunny hero, Ralph, in Bunny Trouble, as well as, the vulnerable dinosaur, Boland, and his intimidating nemesis, Tyrone in Tyrone the Horrible. While each book has presented Hans with its own challenges, he remains true to one central goal: “To have a good time while I’m making the book!” he explains. “This is an honest and true feeling that the reader—in particular the child— can sense and appreciate.”
The recipient of numerous international awards and honors, Hans Wilhelm continues creating books for both children and adults. When he’s not writing or illustrating, Wilhelm enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with friends. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.
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