Discover lesson plans and classroom activities for teaching about community, seasons, language, friendship, and more, all featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog.
The following activities nurture essential:
- language and literacy skills
- critical thinking and problem solving skills
- social and emotional skills
- comprehension skills
- fine motor skills
- Clifford and the Big Storm by Norman Bridwell
- Plain paper plates, one per student
- Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
- Rickrack, buttons, or other craft supplies for decoration
- Optional: Bulletin board to display finished paper plates
Day 1: What's A Dog to Do?
Step 1: Create interest in the story by first talking about storms and hurricanes. Share illustrations from Clifford and the Big Storm by Norman Bridwell. Encourage students to make predictions about what is happening in the pictures.
Step 2: Read Clifford and the Big Storm aloud to the class.
Step 3: Discuss the challenges that Clifford faced during the storm. Ask students what he did to help the puppies and the boat reach safety.
Step 4: Lead children into discussion about what a hero is. Do they feel that Clifford is a hero for saving the day?
Day 2: Gallery of Heroes!
Step 1: Explain to children that a hero is someone known for having courage. We usually think of a hero as being famous. The truth is that anyone can be a hero...even a pet!
Step 2: Help children identify heroes in their own lives.
Step 3: Pass out the paper plates and art supplies. Have each child draw a picture of his or her hero on the center of the paper plate.
Step 4: Move around the room and assist students with writing a short message stating why they chose their particular heroes. Help the students write their messages on the paper plate.
Teaching Tip: Include parents and authorized volunteers in classroom activities. This gives you extra hands to help and provides valuable cooperative learning experiences for children.
Step 5: Encourage students to decorate the rims of their paper plates with rickrack and buttons.
Step 6: Have a sharing session in which children can share their heroes with their classmates.
Optional: Hang all of the plates around the classroom or on a bulletin board to create a gallery of heroes.
Learning the value of helping others builds character and self-esteem!
- Encourage every child to perform an extra chore at home. Reward the entire class with a special treat, like Clifford coloring pages or red Clifford cookies, for making this extra effort to help at home in this special way.
- Invite a local hero to share his or her experiences with classroom.
- Have children color the "H is for Help" Reproducible.
- Play the BE BIG: Help Others Video Clip for students.
These books support Clifford’s Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
- Clifford's Good Deeds by Norman Bridwell
- The Stormy Day Rescue (A Big Red Reader) by Kimberly Weinberger
- Clifford's Best Friend: A Story about Emily Elizabeth by Norman Bridwell
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.