Extension and Engagement Extension and Engagement

Grade 1

Share these activities with your students before, during, or after the module to build engagement and invite interest in module texts and to extend students’ interest in the module topics and themes after reading.




Text(s): I Read Signs by Tanya Hoban

Visual Expression: Sign

  • Think of an area in your classroom that could use a sign, such as Block Area or

  • Make the sign. Include the name of the area and a picture.

  • Share your sign with the class.            

Text(s): Tomas the the Library Lady by Pat Mora

Field Trip: Library

Take a field trip with your class, family, or a trusted adult to the school or community library.

  • Meet the librarian.

  • Find out where fiction books are. Find out where information books are.

  • Find out where people go to take out books and return them.

  • After the trip, draw or write about something you saw or learned.

Text(s): Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter

Verbal Expression: Letter to a Pen Pal

Nasreen is very sad until a new friend helps her feel better. Make a new friend by writing a letter to someone you do not know in another class. In your letter, tell your pen pal about yourself.

  • Write your name.

  • Tell something you like to do.

  • Draw a picture of yourself.

Social Justice/Equality: Group Discussion

The Taliban did not allow girls in Afghanistan to go to school, so Nasreen went to a secret school. Discuss these questions about fairness and equality in a small group:

  • Should only boys be allowed to go to school?

  • Should girls and boys go to separate schools? Or should they go to school together?

  • Is it OK to have a club that is just for girls or boys?

  • What should you do if boys want to join the girls’ club? Or girls want to join the boys’ club?

Share your ideas with the class.

Text(s): My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs

Performance Arts: Song

Imagine that you are a traveling librarian in a country from the book. Create a song about your work. Look at the pictures in the book to help you. You can also make up details.

  • Tell how you travel. Do you go by camel or elephant? By bus, truck, or boat?

  • Tell what you see in your travels.

  • Tell about the books you bring.

  • Tell about the children who read them.

Sing your song for the class.

Text(s): Working for Biblioburro by Monica Brown + That Book Woman by Heather Henson + My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs

Connecting Texts: Painting

In these books, caring grownups bring books and stories to children.

  • Think of a person who reads books to you or tells you stories. It could be a grownup or child. It could be a family member or a friend.

  • Think about where this special person tells or reads the stories. Is it outside or inside?

  • Make a painting of the person and place, and share it with the class.




Text(s): Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Visual Expression: Drawing

Jane Goodall learned by looking at the world around her. Find something in nature to observe. It might be a plant or animal. It might be the weather.

  • Draw what you see.

  • Write a sentence about it.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students this clip of Jane Goodall’s life.

Text(s): The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

Verbal Expression: Personal Response

Verbal Expression: Personal Response

Jacques Cousteau invented things that helped him explore the sea. If you could invent something, what would it be?

  • Draw a picture of your invention.

  • Share it with the class.

  • Tell about your idea.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students a clip from The Silent World or from Cousteau’s television series.

Text(s): Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth

Performance Arts: Song

Imagine that you are a seahorse. Create a song about yourself.

Look at the pictures in the book to help you.

  • Think about where you live and what you see.

  • Think about how you can hide.

  • Make up a song. Use words such as I and me.

  • Sing your song for the class.

Visual Expression: Painting

The seahorse can change the color of its skin:

  • Paint a seahorse. Make it blend in with its surroundings.

  • Your seahorse is hiding. Ask a classmate to find it.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students one of these clips of seahorses (this one or this one.)

Text(s): Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd

Visual Expression: Starfish Diorama

Starfish tells about different starfish and where they live. Create the ocean world of a starfish in a shoe box.

  • Choose a starfish from the book.

  • Create your starfish out of clay or modeling dough.

  • Decorate the shoe box to show where your starfish lives.

  • Place your starfish in the shoe box.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Lead or have students take a self-guided virtual field trip about starfish or seastars at an aquarium, such as this virtual visit.

Text(s): Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins

Content Area: Social Studies

The animals in the book are dangerous, but most of them live in faraway places. The pages at the end of the book tell where they live. Work in a small group to find the places on a map.

  • Have each student in your group choose a different animal from the book.

  • Write your animal’s name on a sticky note.

  • Find out where your animal lives. If needed, ask your teacher for help.

  • Work as a group to find the places on the map. Add the sticky notes.

Text(s): Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell + The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

Connecting Texts: Dialogue

Imagine that Jane Goodall and Jacques Cousteau meet. What would they say to each other? Work with a partner to create a conversation they might have.

  • Decide who will play each role.

  • Talk about what excited you as a child.

  • Share what you love about nature.

  • Share some of your discoveries.



All Module Texts

Teaching Extension: Social Sensitivity (Enslavement, Discrimination, Racism)

Access and read tools to support teaching sensitive topics, such as:

Text(s): A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki

Teaching Extension: Life for African Americans in the Late 1800s

To prepare for reading A Weed Is a Flower, share the following information:

  • Explain that George Washington Carver was born enslaved. That means that he was owned as property by another person.

  • Explain that many enslaved people came originally from Africa. They were kidnapped in Africa and forced to come to America, where they were enslaved to white owners. Their children born in America also become enslaved. Even in America, enslaved people were sometimes kidnapped and sold to someone else.

  • Families of enslaved people were often separated when an owner decided to sell some or all of the family to different new owners.

  • Tell students that slavery ended soon after Carver was born, but life was still hard for African Americans. They did not have their own land to farm. There were also not many colleges for African Americans.

Performance Arts: Song

George Washington Carver always loved plants. He loved to grow them, study them, and paint them. As a boy, people even called him the Plant Doctor. What else do you know about his love of plants?

  • Make up a song about George Washington Carver’s love of plants. You can use the word I and pretend he is sharing his love of plants.

  • Practice the song.

  • Then sing it for the class.

Text(s): A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki + George Washington Carver by Dana Meachen Rau

Connecting Texts: Poster

Make a poster about George Washington Carver and his life.

  • Think about what he did in his life.

  • Draw pictures that tell about his life.

  • Add words that tell about him.

  • Draw pictures of things he made from peanuts.

  • Share your poster with the class.

Text(s): Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson and Kadir Nelson

NOTE: Clarify that ice on a pond or lake takes much longer to freeze than ice in a cup, and that children should never go on frozen surfaces unless an adult says that it’s safe.

Performance Arts: Acting Out Scenes

The illustrations and words in this text help us imagine what it was like to know Jackie Robinson. Work with a partner or in a small group to act out some scenes from the book.

  • Choose the scenes.

  • Look at the illustrations to help you imagine what is happening.

  • Practice the scenes.

  • Perform the scenes for the class.

Content Areas: Science

Jackie’s dad tests the ice on the lake to see if it’s frozen. Water becomes ice when it is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. How long do you think it takes for a cup of water to freeze? Do this experiment to find out.

  • Fill a plastic or metal bowl with one cup of cool water.

  • Put the bowl in the freezer.

  • Set a timer for every 15 minutes.

  • Each time, check for ice, and make a mark on paper.

  • Stop when the water is completely frozen.

  • Count the number of marks you made.

  • Share the number with the class. Did everyone get the same result?

Text(s): Jackie Robinson by Will Mara

Visual Expression: Pages in a Book

This book tells the important events in Jackie Robinson’s life. Create your own pages for a book about Robinson.

  • Fold a piece of paper in half. Hold the paper so that you have two pages side by side.

  • On one page, draw a picture showing something you learned about Jackie Robinson.

  • On the other page, write a sentence to go with your picture.

Text(s): Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Verbal Expression: Silly Story

Dr. Seuss wrote this silly story with just 50 different words. He used them over and over again. Sometimes he added NOT. Sometimes he changed the order. He also used rhyming words, like rain and train. Make up your own silly story.

  • In your story, use some words over and over again.

  • Include some words that rhyme.

Text(s): The Blind Men and the Elephant retold by Phoebe Franklin + Seven Blind Mice retold and illustrated by Ed Young

NOTE: If you have visually impaired students in your classroom, be especially sensitive to their experience. Consider elevating their status as leaders who can teach classmates about their experiences with using other senses in place of sight. Invite their input on appropriate terminology for discussing visual impairments.

Teaching Extension: Blindness

Explain that when people are blind they cannot see. Instead they listen, smell, touch, and taste to understand the world. To help students understand the concept of blindness, play this guessing game.

  • Gather objects that have different sizes, shapes, and textures. Include an object with a scent, such as a cinnamon-scented candle.

  • Place an object in a paper bag, and invite a student to explore it without looking inside the bag. The student may touch it or smell it. The student may also shake the bag to see how the object sounds. If the student guesses correctly, move on to another student or another object.

Content Areas: Science

Make a nonfiction book about elephants with a small group. Show what elephants look like and what they do.

Visual Expression: Drawing

Work with a partner to draw an elephant like what the story characters imagined.

Text(s): Abraham Lincoln by Wil Mara + A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden

Connecting Texts: Collage

Create a collage to show what you learned about Abraham Lincoln’s life.

  • Show what he looked like. Draw him or print a picture from the Internet.

  • Add other pictures that tell about his life.

  • Include his birthday. You can copy his signature from Lincoln and Me.

  • Add pencil rubbings of Abraham Lincoln’s face from pennies to your collage.

Text(s): A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden

Teaching Extension: Math Game

Play a game with students that uses pennies and dimes to develop money counting skills.

  • Make a scorecard for each player that includes a “dimes” column and a “pennies” column. Label the columns with a circle for “dimes” and a shaded-in circle for “pennies.”

  • Gather the following items:

    • 200 pennies for every 2 players

    • 20 dimes for every 2 players

    • one die for the class

    • a pencil for each player

  • Place a pile of dimes and a pile of pennies in the center of a table or rug. Elicit that Abraham Lincoln’s face is on a penny and explain that the face of another president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, is on a dime.

  • Have players take turns rolling the die.

  • When the die is rolled, each player takes that number of coins. For example, if the die shows 5, then all players take 5 coins. A player can take dimes or pennies, but not both.

  • After each turn, players place the coins in the correct column on their scorecards. They also write the value of the coins they pick up at each turn.

  • When a player has 10 pennies, the player trades them for a dime and puts it in the dimes column.

  • After 6 turns, players count up the totals. The player with the total closest to $1.00 wins.

Social Justice/Diversity: Group Discussion

In A. Lincoln and Me, we learn that people laughed at President Lincoln because he was different. They also laugh at the boy in the book for that reason. In a small group, discuss questions such as these:

  • How was Abraham Lincoln different from people he met?

  • In what ways was President Lincoln big? Think of the ways the author uses the word big to describe Lincoln.

  • How is being big hard for the boy in the book? In what ways is it useful?

  • Are most people the same? Or is each person different in some way?

  • Why is it important to treat everyone with respect




Text(s): Storms by Miriam Busch Goin

Visual Expression: Storm Painting

Make a painting of one of the storms in the book.

  • Think about what you learn from the photos and words. How can you show it in a painting?

  • Use paint in interesting ways. Use white to make different shades of a color. Use thin paint and thick paint.

  • Be creative! Add materials, such as sand, cut-out papers, cotton balls, or glitter.

  • Share your painting with the class.

Text(s): The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

NOTE: The first activity provides guidance for teacher preparation.

Teaching Extension: Background on Malawi

Before reading the text, point to Malawi on a world map, and provide this information:

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a true story about a boy named William who lived in Malawi.

  • Malawi is a small country south of the Sahara Desert. William’s village had no electricity. That means that unless people had special machines to make power, they had no refrigerators, lights, radios, or TVs.

  • The people in Malawi have a rich culture. They believe in nature spirits and magic, and tell many tales about their beliefs.

  • Most people in Malawi are farmers, but it is hard to grow crops. It only rains from November to April.

  • Sometimes there is not enough rain. The text tells about one of the times.

  • When the crops didn’t grow, William could not go to school. There was no money for the fee. In Malawi, children have to pay to go to school.

Content Areas: Science and Wind Energy

William built a windmill to make wind energy. You can make wind energy, too. Have an adult help you make a spinning pinwheel.

  • You will need:

    • One 6 X 6 “ piece of paper

    • 2 pencils with erasers (one not sharpened)

    • a push pin with a ball top

    • a scissors

    • a ruler

    • glue

  • Use the pictures on this site to help you follow these directions: http://www.auntannie.com/FridayFun/Pinwheel/

    • Draw two lines to make four triangles.

    • Cut a line from each corner toward the middle. (See pictures.) Don’t cut all the way.

    • Use the pin to punch a hole in the center and the points of all the triangles.

    • Bring every other point into the center.

    • Stick the pin through all four points.

    • Then push the pin into the side of the pencil eraser.

  • Hold the pencil, and make pinwheel spin.

Text(s): Feelings by Aliki

Performance Arts: Act Out Feelings

The cartoons in the book show children with different feelings. Work with a partner to act out a scene that shows feelings.

  • Think about some of the words for feelings in the book: tingly, proud, afraid, jealous, ashamed, guilty, sorry, brave, shy.

  • Decide what feelings you want to show.

  • Look at the scene in the book, or use your own ideas.

  • Act out the scene.

  • Perform the scene for the class.

Text(s): Owl at Home, “The Guest” by Arnold Lobel

Visual Expression: Diorama

Owl’s home is very cozy before he invites in the wind. After the wind comes in, Owl’s home looks very different.

  • Use a shoe box to create Owl’s home. Show it before or after the wind visits.

  • Use cut-out papers and other art materials to decorate the box.

  • Make the owl out of clay or modeling dough.

  • Share Owl’s home with the class.

Text(s): Brave Irene by William Steig

Content Areas: Dance and Movement

The wind is always with Irene on her journey. It blows snow on Irene’s face. It pushes her. It even wrestles the box from her. Work with a partner to make up a dance about their time together.

  • Decide who will be Irene and who will be the wind.

  • Look at the pictures in the book.

  • Make up the dance.

  • Perform it for the class.

Community/Cultural Connections: Special Foods and Smells

Irene’s mother calls her dumpling, cupcake, and pudding. She must like these foods a lot. Then later, Irene remembers the smell of fresh-baked bread when she thinks about her mother.

  • Think about foods you like to eat with your family. When do you eat this food? Does someone in your family make it?

  • Think about good smells you connect with your family. For example, you might think of a food or a flower.

  • Tell your class about the special foods and smells.

Visual Expression: Clothing Design

Irene’s mother, Mrs. Bobbin, is a dressmaker. She designs dresses and then makes them for people. The title pages shows a gown on a model of a person’s body. The gown is almost finished. Mrs. Bobbin is sewing ribbons on it.

  • Imagine that you know how to make beautiful clothes. You also make the designs.

  • Decide what kind of clothing you will make. Who will wear the clothes you make?

  • Draw the clothing. Use crayons or markers.

  • Share the clothing with the class.

Text(s): Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets

Verbal Expression: Personal Response

Sometimes Gilberto likes the wind. Sometimes he doesn’t.

  • Think about an experience you had with the wind.

  • Make a drawing to help you remember what happened.

  • Tell the class what happened and how you felt.

Performance Arts: Dialogue

Gilberto tells about his time with the wind. Imagine that they are both talking about what happened.

  • Choose parts of the story to tell about. For example, you might tell about the time with the sailboat.

  • Decide who will be Gilberto and who will be the wind.

  • Practice having a conversation.

  • Share it with the class.

Text(s): “Hurricanes: Spinning Storms” (https://www.readworks.org/article/Hurricanes-Spinning-Storms/)

Content Areas: Science

You have read about winds in a hurricane. Have an adult help you do an experiment to see what the spinning winds look like.

  • Fill a jar or bottle 1/4 of the way with liquid soap.

  • Fill the rest of the jar with water.

  • Put a lid on the jar.

  • Shake up the bottle.

  • Imagine that you are watching the movement of the winds.

All Module Texts

Content Areas: Weather

You have read about different kinds of windy weather in this module. Weather reporters tell what the weather will be like. When a storm comes, they describe it.

  • Decide what the weather will be. Will the wind be strong or gentle? Will there be a storm.

  • Think of how you will describe the weather. If snow or rain is coming, tell how many inches will fall.

  • Practice your weather report.

  • Present it to the class.

Visual Expression: Collage

Many texts in this module tell about the wind and people’s feelings about it. Make a collage about the wind.

  • Use photos from the Internet or your own drawings to show what the wind is like.

  • Add words to tell how people feel about it.

  • You can also use other art materials in your collage.

  • Share your collage with the class.




Text(s): National Geographic Kids: Beginner’s World Atlas by National Geographic

NOTE: For the Geography activity, students will need markers and smooth rubber balls with writable surfaces (or paper to glue to the ball). Plan to assist them in gluing paper on if necessary and definitely with cutting the balls. When cutting the balls, cut top to bottom, but only half way through. The goal is to open the ball, not to cut it into two pieces. If students complete the independent activity at home, they will need copies of p. 7.

Teaching Extension: Introducing Maps and Text Features

  • Display pp. 6–7:

    • Tell students that Earth would look round like a ball if they could see it from outer space.

    • Then, hold a rubber ball at arms’ length and point out that you can only see one side of it at a time. The same is true when viewing Earth.

    • Mark some Xs on the far side of the rubber ball. Then cut the ball halfway through, from top to bottom, on the side with the Xs. Make additional cuts, using the images on p. 7 as a guide. Then open the ball and place it flat on a table to show that now you can see the Xs that were on the far side. Explain that this is like what mapmakers do with the land and water when they make a map of the world.

  • Display pp. 10–11.

    • Share that this is a physical map of the world. It uses symbols to show where mountains, deserts, grasslands, and other physical features are.

    • Explain the purpose of the key on p. 10 and the mileage scale on p. 11.

    • Use locations in your area to help students understand the large distance on the scale (2000 miles). For example, you might point out a place that is one mile from school.

    • Explain that there are seven continents, or big pieces of land, on Earth. This atlas includes a physical map for each of those continents. Each map includes information about land, water, climate, plants, and animals of that continent.

  • Display pp. 11–12.

    • Share that that this is a political map of the world. It gives names of the countries on each continent.

    • Clarify that countries are created by people and governments, who decide what land to include. Countries change. Continents do not.

    • Explain that this text includes a political map for each continent. Each map includes cities, states, languages, and information about the people and products for that continent.

  • Explain that in module 5, students will use physical and political maps to learn about different places where Cinderella stories were told.

Concept Areas: Geography

Mapmakers have to solve some problems to show the round Earth on a flat piece of paper.

  • Use markers to draw pictures on a round, rubber ball.

  • You can draw continents from the Atlas or places from nearby. Make the places different places on different parts of the ball. Somewhere on the globe, draw an X.

  • Have an adult cut the ball using the pictures under “Earth on Paper” from p. 7 of the Atlas.

  • Open the ball and squash it flat on the table.

  • Find the X.

All Module Cinderella Texts

NOTE: You may wish to use the first Teaching Extension at the beginning of the module and the second one at the end.

Teaching Extension: Features of Fairy Tales

  • Before reading the stories, discuss features of fairy tales.

  • Ask questions such as these:

    • What are some fairy tales that you know? (Examples: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella)

    • What words often begin a fairy tale? (Once upon a time)

    • What words often end a fairy tale? (happily ever after)

  • Point out that fairy tales often have characters with magic powers or special abilities. For example, animals in fairy tales often can talk.

  • Elicit other examples from students. (Examples: the witch who casts a spell on Sleeping Beauty; the fairy godmother in Cinderella)

Social Justice/Gender: Group Discussion

Cinderella was first told when girls had very few choices in life. In all of these stories, a girl lives with a mean stepmother. A prince or other important man saves her from an unhappy life.

  • Discuss questions like these in a small group:

    • How does the girl feel about the prince in each story? What does she know about him? Does she fall in love because he’s important and handsome? Are these good reasons? What other traits are important?

    • Does the prince only fall in love with her because she’s pretty? Is this a good reason? What other traits are important?

    • What other happy ending could each story have? Could the girl leave to have an adventure? Could she invent something? Could she do something else important

  • Share your ideas with the class.

Text(s): Cinderella by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Marcia Brown

NOTE: Students may need help navigating the Internet and selecting “Images.”

Verbal Expression: Monologue

Mice, horses, and the fairy godmother help Cinderella go to the ball.

  • Pretend that you are one of the mice or horses.

  • Think about what happened to you and Cinderella.

  • Use the words I and me to tell what happened and what you saw

  • Imagine that are talking to the mice or horses who did not go.

  • Share your part of the story with the class.

Content Areas: Social Studies

This version of the fairy tale is from France. The pictures show what clothing and other items were like about five hundred years ago. Work in a small group to find pictures of castles, clothing, and coaches from that time.

  • Decide who will find each kind of picture.

  • Search the Internet using these words:

    • castle 1600s France

    • men’s clothing 1600s France

    • women’s clothing 1600s France

    • coach 1600s France

  • Click on “Images” at the top of the screen.

  • Print out some pictures.

  • Share them with the class.

Text(s): The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo


After reading, clarify that sparrows really can hull rice to separate the husk from the kernel. They pull seeds apart to get to the part they can eat. In the story, however, they do this to help Pear Blossom and not to get food.

As needed, help students locate the Koreas on the map.

Content Areas: Science

Sparrows are important in the story. Make a poster to tell about them.

Content Areas: Social Studies

Work in a small group to make a book about Korea. Have each student add a page to the book.

Text(s): Adelita by Tomie dePaola

Content Areas: Foreign Language

Adelita includes many Spanish words and phrases. One word is rebozo, which means “shawl.” Adelita wears a rebozo to the party. It has birds and flowers on it.

  • Draw another rebozo for Adelita.

  • Think about a way to make the shawl pretty. You can add shapes or pictures. You can even add glitter.

  • Use crayons or markers to add color.

  • Share your rebozo with the class.

  • If you speak Spanish, tell about another rebozo you have seen. Explain in Spanish and then in English.

Verbal Expression: Menu

Adelita goes to a fiesta, or party, at Javier’s house. There she might see dishes made with chiles, corn, rice, beans, and vegetables. Create a menu for the fiesta.

  • Find pictures of Mexican foods, such as tortillas, tacos, burritos, chili con carne, and guacamole. Search the Internet. Use the search words picture of [name of food].

  • Choose five foods for your menu.

  • Draw or print out a picture of each food. Glue it to the paper

  • Write the name of each food next to it.

  • Share your menu with the class.

For more information about Mexico, visit this site:


Text(s): Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

Visual Expression: Diorama

Mufaro and his daughters live near a rainforest, where there are many birds and other animals. Nyasha has a garden. She grows millet, sunflowers, yams, and vegetables. Make Nyasha’s garden in a shoe box.

  • Use cut-out papers, clay, or modeling dough, or other art materials.

  • Show plants and trees. (Millet is a kind of grass. Yams look a bit like potatoes. They grow underground the way potatoes do.)

  • Add the snake and birds.

  • Share your diorama with the class.

Content Areas: Social Studies

The city Nyasha sees was from long ago. The city is no longer there, but people can can see the ruins. Work with a partner or small group to learn about them.

Performance Arts: Act Out Scenes

Both sisters meet a boy and an old man. But the sisters act differently. Work with a partner to act out scenes with one of the sisters.

  • Decide which sister will be in your scenes.

  • Decide who will be that sister and who will be the boy and the old man.

  • Act out the scenes for the class.