Subject Area: Language Arts
This colorfully illustrated cumulative story is told through the eyes of a little boy who details the construction of a building located at the end of his block.
This book will encourage children to develop phonemic-awareness skills and an understanding of cumulative text pattern and story sequence while learning about the stages of constructing a building.
Show the children the book Big Machines! Big Buildings! Tell them that they are going to listen to a fun story about a boy who watches the construction of a building. Ask them if they have ever seen a construction site. What types of machines and building equipment did they see? What do you think the boy will see in the story?
- Read the story to the class. Revisit the story and ask the children the following questions:
- What did the workmen build first?
- What was the first thing the boy saw through the wall?
- What did the dump truck do?
- Which machine was used to fill the dump truck?
- Which machine "crawls at a creep"?
- How are the girders moved?
- What does a welder do?
- What was the last thing that a machine did before the building was complete?
- How does the story end?
- Photocopies of the last page (one copy per child)
- Child safety scissors
- Craft sticks
- Glue sticks
- Envelopes or small zip lock plastic bags
- Make photocopies of the last page of the book that depicts the illustrations of the workmen and building machines. Give everyone a photocopied page, safety scissors, craft sticks and glue. Ask the children to cut out each picture and glue it onto a craft stick.
- The activity can be done with either the whole classroom or as a small-group activity. Explain that the students will hold up their pictures as they read along with the story. Ask them to place all of their pictures in front of them. As you read the story ask them to hold up the appropriate picture that depicts what is happening in the story.
- Encourage the children to read along. To encourage phonemic awareness, leave off last words of sentences so that children can guess the rhyming words. Do the same with repetitive sentences to encourage the group to join in and recite the text. As the children become more familiar with the story increase the pace.
- Children can also read the story in small groups and arrange their pictures according to the sequence of the story.
Other Cumulative Text Stories
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
by Simms Taback
Simms Taback cleverly illustrates this favorite cumulative song so that readers can see the old woman's stomach fills and grows with each animal she swallows.
Today Is Monday
by Eric Carle
This popular rhyming song about the days of the week is adapted into a joyous book depicting an animal and food for each day. Includes music and lyrics.
The House That Jack Built
by Jeanette Winter
This new version of the classic story uses simple rebus illustrations to present the cumulative rhyme.
Other Books by Kevin Lewis
Teaching plan written by Risa Young