Sunday, August 2, 2015

"I Want My Hat Back" by Jon Klassen

I lost my hat (and some of my hair)
in this photo. So did the bear.

"I Want My Hat Back" is a funny story by Jon Klassen that my 4-year-old son enjoys. It follows a bear (I think he's a bear) who has lost his hat. He looks around for his hat, only to find one of his so-called friends has taken it.

Using simple dialogue exchanges, this book is a fast read with some joyful interactions as you read it to kids.


This book can be used as a great group read aloud with preK to 2, but I can see this activity being perfect from grades 2-12... Here is how...

Inferring Tone in Reader's Theater: 

Teach kids about inferring tone in a piece of literature. One of the hardest aspects of reading for many kids is hearing the tone of an author, unless the piece is read aloud. That's why I start with kids listening to characters. I ask them to read aloud and imagine the feelings, and, essentially, tone of characters. It is a simple activity you can truly use with most.

Grade Levels- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


Worksheet (below)
Copies of the "dialogue" pages of the text (have kids jot these down or make copies)

This is a great book to use for Reader's Theatre. Each page offers a back-and-forth dialogue that can be preformed by two students. Here is a simple format to follow:

1. After reading the book, identifying the culprit, and laughing (or gasping) at the end, copy off each page of the book, or transcribe it by hand. There will be 7 pages with this type of dialogue (see the page to the side for an idea).
An example of a dialogue page.

2. Have students pair up. Each pair receives a copied page. (Feel free to have multiple groups read the same page, but be sure they work in pairs--no trios.)

3. In pairs, have the tallest person be the bear and the shorter person be the other creature. Have the kids practice reading it in their pairs.

4. Now have the roles switch, the shorter person reads the bear.

5. Together the pair fill out the following worksheet. Tell them:

You are going to listen and infer what your characters' tone are in this piece. Tone is the "attitude toward the subject". Since the text doesn't tell us, you have to infer. Is the character confused? Is she worried? Is the character somber, playful, or serious? Your job is to decide two ways in which the character could possibly say his/her lines. Once you decide, write in on your worksheet. Only use the lines where it says "Tone 1" and "Tone 2".

(You should model this for the kids using the process using the double-page spread at the bottom of this post. You can show them he may be "sad when he says "Nobody has seen my hat." You can point out that this could be read in an "angry", "frustrated", or "somber" tone. Read it in the different tones so kids can see how the way we read the text changes the characterization and, at times, meaning.)

Supervise students to ensure they just do the first two tone lines for each character.

6. Now have some fun and give the kids the printout from the tone list. Click her for the list. You may want to adjust this list for your age group.

7. Ask the kids to try reading the dialogue with different tones. Ask them to write down and practice three more from the list provided.

8. Once done, have students select the best tone from their list of 5 options. Circle the best option, and then have the class gather together to preform the whole piece in front of the class.

The bear lamenting over his lost hat. This page is a good
one to use as you model inferring tone.

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