Extension and Engagement Extension and Engagement

Grade 2

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): “Weather” by Eve Merriam

Verbal Expression: Poem

In “Weather,” Eve Merriam uses words that begin with the same sounds (alliteration) and words that sound like the things they describe (onomatopoeia).

  • Create a poem about something in nature.

  • Include at least two words that begin with the same sound and one word that sounds like what it describes.

  • Share your poem with classmates. Ask them to find the special words you included.

Text(s): “April Showers” by ReadWorks

Visual Expression: Wet Watercolor Painting

Create a wet watercolor painting to show showers in April.

  • First, use your brush to wet the whole paper.

  • Then dip your brush in paint, and change colors when you want.

  • Show rain and wind in your picture. You may add a rainbow, too!

  • Share your painting with the class.

Text(s): The Little Yellow Leaf by Betsy Maestro

Visual Expression: Cartoon Strip

  • Think about what happens to the Little Yellow Leaf in the story and how he feels.

  • Create a cartoon strip telling the story.

  • Use bubbles to show thoughts and words.

Text(s): The Color of His Own by Leo Lionni

Cultural/Community Connections: Interview

In A Color of His Own, an older, wiser chameleon helps the young chameleon understand something important about himself.

  • Interview family members or friends to find something important they have learned from someone older and wiser.

  • Share what you discover with the class.

Text(s): Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

Content Areas: The Science of Leaves

Making leaf rubbings can help you learn more about leaves.

  • Take a short walk with your class, family, or a trusted adult to collect leaves from different kinds of trees. Look for leaves with different sizes and shapes.

  • Use pp. 6–7 of Why Do Leaves Change Color? to help you identify the leaves. You can also search online.

  • Then follow the directions on p. 30 to make leaf rubbings. You will need crayons and a thin sheet of paper.

  • After you make the rubbings, add labels to identify the leaves.

Text(s): Sky Tree: Seeing Science through Art by Thomas Walker

Performance Arts: Acting Out a Scene

  • Work in a small group to act out a scene from the book.

  • As a group, choose a page with words and the painting that goes with it.

  • Then together plan how to act out the scene. Will there be sounds? Will there be movement or dance? What parts will each student play?

  • Finally, perform your scene for the class.

Text(s): The Sounds Spring Brings by ReadWorks + How Do You Know It’s Fall? by Carin Berger

Connecting Texts: Sound Recordings

Go outside with your class or open the windows to explore sounds.

  • Close your eyes, and jot down any sounds you hear.

  • Then think about fall activities, and list sounds related to them. For example, when we eat apples in the fall, we make a crunching sound.

  • Share all the sounds you listed with the class. Which sounds are on most lists? Which ones are different?




Text(s): The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose + If You Lived With the Sioux Indians By Ann McGovern

Connecting Texts: Poster

The Sioux and many other tribes lived on the Great Plains, a big area in the center of America. Work in a small group to create a poster about the Plains Indians.

  • Find information about shelter, food, and way of life

  • Find information about the Great Plains.

  • Include images and brief text on the poster. Make your own images or find them on the Internet and in books from the class or school library. Search by “Plains Indians.”

Text(s): Cowboys and Cowgirls Yippee-Yay! by Gail Gibbons

Performance Arts: Interview

You read about famous cowboys and cowgirls. Imagine that one of these famous people is being interviewed by someone who has never been to the West. Work with a partner to create and perform an interview.

  • Choose a cowboy or cowgirl to be interviewed.

  • Decide who will be the interviewer.

  • Together think of questions and possible answers.

  • Rehearse the interview.

  • Then perform it for the class.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students this clip about Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill’s show from The American Experience by PBS

Text(s): John Henry by Julius Lester + John Henry by Ezra Jack Keats

Content Areas: Math

You read the legend of John Henry, the great builder of railroads. Trade and travel were hard before railroads were built. Work with a group to make a train and see how it connects people and places.

  • If you can, do this activity outside.

  • With four students, form a line. Put your hands on the next person’s shoulders so the “cars” of the train stay together.

  • Choose something to move on your train, like a pencil or classroom toy.

  • Drive the train to another part of the classroom or playground. If you know a train song, sing it while you go. Otherwise, just say “Choo Choo.”

  • Trade with another train and take something new back to your area.

Visual Expression: Book Design

Open a picture book. You can see two pages at a time. Illustrators design books to look good this way. Look in Keats’s version of John Henry for the page with the small wave below the words. Keats uses the same color in the big picture. That helps connect the pages. Create two pages for an event from the book.

  • Place two sheets of paper next to each other.

  • On one sheet, write about an event from John Henry’s life.

  • On the other sheet, draw a picture.

  • Connect the pages by adding color or art to your writing.

Text(s): Johnny Appleseed: by Steven Kellogg

Verbal Expression: Story Telling

Johnny Appleseed liked to tell stories about his experiences to children. Imagine that you are Johnny Appleseed. You are going to share one of your experiences with the class.

  • Look through the book, and choose an event or experience.

  • Make notes to help you remember what happened.

  • Tell the story as though you are Johnny Appleseed. Use words such as I and me.

Text(s): The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

Cultural/Community Connections: Vision Quest

In The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, Little Gopher goes out to the hills alone “to think about becoming a man.” This custom of many Plains Indians is called a vision quest.

  • Think about customs from your own culture or others that help young people think about growing up.

  • Think about dreams you have had. Do they help you in some way?

  • Share your thoughts and what you learn with the class.

Text(s): Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy

Visual Expression: Game Board

Work with a small group to create a game board that shows some dangers and joys of the pioneer journey. Have the journey start in Missouri and end in the Oregon Territory. Include ten or fifteen spaces.

  • Look through Olivia’s diary for possible dangers and good experiences.

  • Together decide which ones to include in the game.

  • Illustrate each danger or good experience on a space. For example, to show dancing, you might draw a fiddle.

  • Decide what to use for game pieces and a spinner.

  • Play the game. If you land on a danger, move back one space. The player who gets to the Oregon Territory first wins.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students this 3:25 minute video clip from the History Channel about wagon trails traveling West. This 12-minute video from the Educational Video library shows much more about life on the trail, although it is longer and has rather stilted narration.

Text(s): The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George

Social Justice/Diversity: Group Discussion

Jean Craighead George describes how the buffalo almost disappeared. As a group, discuss issues of fairness and justice. Answer questions such as these:

  • Why were the buffalo killed?

  • Who made the decision to kill the buffalo, and why?

  • Was the decision fair?

  • Who carried out the decision?

  • What were the effects?

  • What does the killing of the buffalo show about ideas toward animals and people?

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Show students this 3-minute video of bison at Yellowstone National Park.

Text(s): John Henry by Jack Ezra Keats + Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy

Connecting Texts: Packing Lists

In her diary, Olivia Clark points out that her family could bring very few items in the wagon. What items would be important to take with them? Now imagine that the family is traveling by train. What items could be sent by train?

  • Draw the outline of a covered wagon. Inside, list items that pioneers might take with them.

  • Now draw the freight car of a train. Inside it, list items that pioneers would bring or send.

Teaching Extension: Build Background Knowledge

Play a recording of the song John Henry and then sing it with students. There are many versions online, including versions by Harry Belafonte, the Stanley Brothers, Johnny Cash, etc.




Text(s): The Golden Gate Bridge by Jeffrey Zuehlke

Performance Arts: Role-Play Interview

Imagine being at the Golden Gate Bridge on the day it opened. Work with a partner to create an interview between one of the workers and a news reporter.

  • Look through The Golden Gate Bridge for photos of workers and information about them.

  • With your partner choose one of the workers to be interviewed.

  • Together think of questions the reporter could ask and how the worker might answer them. Use information from the book, and then add made up details such as the person’s name and home city or town.

  • Practice asking and answering questions.

  • Perform the interview for the class.

Text(s): The Golden Gate Bridge by Jeffrey Zuehlke + Bridge Basics” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/bridge/basics.html)

NOTE: Gather materials for student use in Content Areas: Science, but let students count what they need from a central location. Assist them in collecting appropriate amounts of non-count materials such as thread.

Content Areas: Science

A suspension bridge, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, is much stronger than a simple beam bridge. In a small group, perform an experiment to compare the strengths of the two kinds of bridges.

  • Get materials from your teacher: 7 drinking straws, masking tape, dental floss or thread, scissors, 4 large paper clips, a bowlful of pennies (or other small objects), and a ruler.

  • Read the steps from this Website page: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/educator/act_suspension_ho.html 

  • Follow steps 1–4 to build a beam bridge and test its strength.

  • Then follow steps 5–6 to make a suspension bridge and test its strength.

  • Share your bridges and findings with other groups.

Text(s): Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting

Visual Expression: Puzzle

Robert and Charlie work together to complete a puzzle just as their fathers work together to build the Golden Gate Bridge. Create a puzzle to honor the teamwork that was so important in building the bridge.

  • Draw a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on a piece of cardboard.

  • Write the word TEAMWORK above the bridge.

  • Cut the cardboard into puzzle pieces. Try to create interesting shapes. Also include some color, a letter, or part of an image on each piece.

  • Mix up the pieces so they are not in the correct order. Have the picture side showing.

  • Challenge classmates to use the shapes, letters, and images to put the puzzle together.

Text(s): Mackinac Bridge by Gloria Whelan

NOTE: To prepare students for Content Areas: Social Studies, display a map of the United States or a map of Michigan. Locate the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. You may need to read aloud the web content or help students navigate it.

Content Areas: Social Studies

Before the Mackinac Bridge was built, people used ferryboats to cross the Straits of Mackinac. The boats were the only way to travel between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

  • Look at the map your teacher shares. Notice the water between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

  • Find out more about the ferries by searching the Internet for “Michigan ferryboats before bridges” or visiting this site: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/05/post_607.html 

  • Answer questions such as these:

    • When was the first ferry to carry cars? What was the name of the ferry? (July 31, 1923; Ariel)

    • Did the ferries travel all year? (not at first; Winter service began in 1936.)

    • Which ferry could carry the most cars and trucks? How many could it carry? (Vacationland; about 150 cars and trucks)

    • When did the ferries stop running forever? (1957)

  • Share your findings with the class.

Performance Arts: Dialogue

In Mackinac Bridge, Pop stops talking to his son Luke when he learns that Luke is helping build the bridge. Imagine that they talk despite Pop’s anger. Work with a partner to create a dialogue between the characters.

  • Think about each character’s feelings and thoughts about the bridge.

  • Together brainstorm what they might say to each other.

  • Decide who will play each character.

  • Practice the dialogue a few times.

  • Perform the dialogue for the class.

Text(s): Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

NOTE: The Teaching Extension activity is ideal for background building prior to reading, but can also be used to extend student interest during and after reading.

Teaching Extension: High-Wire Walking

Content Areas: Social Studies

Emily Arnold McCully based the character of Mirette on herself. As a young girl, she had to do a lot of chores. Like Mirette, she was daring, though she never tried to walk on wires. McCully based Bellini’s character on Blondin, who was a famous high-wire walker in the mid 1800s.

Verbal Expression: Postcard

Imagine that you were in Paris at the time of the story and saw Bellini and Mirette on the wire. Create a postcard that you might send to a friend about your experience.

  • On the front of your postcard, draw Mirette and Bellini.

  • On the back, write a short note to your friend. Tell what you saw and how you felt.

Performance Arts: High-Wire Walking

Use masking tape to create a straight line on the floor. You will need to imagine that the line is a wire hanging between rooftops in Paris. Now imagine that you are Mirette or Bellini walking on the wire.

  • Walk along the “wire” four times. Each time, move in one of these ways:

    • with arms by your side

    • with arms outstretched

    • with eyes closed

    • with a book balanced on your head

  • Invent another way to walk along the wire.

Text(s): Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed


  • For Teaching Extension: Refugees in Pakistan, locate and display a world map or a map of central Asia that includes Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • For Social Justice/Equality: Fundraiser, you may want to visit https://www.raptim.org/focus-on-ngos-27-organizations-that-help-refugees/ for additional organization ideas. The URL for each listed organization is embedded in its name.

Teaching Extension: Refugees in Pakistan

Explain that refugees are people who flee their homes because of war or other dangers. A refugee camp is a place where people can find food and shelter for a while.

  • Point to Afghanistan on the displayed map. Explain that the families in Four Feet, Two Sandals are refugees. They have fled Afghanistan because of the fighting in that country.

  • Point to Pakistan on a map. Tell students that the families in Four Feet, Two Sandals are in a refugee camp that is in Pakistan.

  • Explain that people in refugee camps sometimes return to their home country. Sometimes they try to move to another place, such as America. They need to have permission, and it can take time to get it.

Social Justice/Equality: Fundraiser

In Four Feet, Two Sandals, trucks brought used clothes to the refugee camp, but there were not enough for everyone. There are many refugees in the world today, and they need a lot of help. Anyone can help by collecting money to send to a group that takes care of refugees.

  • As a class, brainstorm ideas for a fundraiser, such as a school-wide bake sale, talent show, or art show.

  • Plan the fundraiser, and carry it out.

  • Ask an adult to help you send the money you raise to a group that helps refugees, such as Mercy Corps (https://www.mercycorps.org/) or International Rescue Committee ( https://www.rescue.org/).

Performance Arts: Acting Out Scenes

In Four Feet, Two Sandals, the two main characters are girls, but the story could have been written about two boys.

  • Work with a partner to act out two scenes from the story.

  • Choose scenes from different parts of the story.

  • Share your scenes with the class.




All Module Texts

Teaching Extension: Social Sensitivity (Racism, Enslavement, Family Loss, Scary Experiences)

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

Text(s): Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington by Frances E. Ruffin

Teaching Extension: Segregation, Racism, Civil Rights Movement

Before or during reading of Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, share the information below. Endeavor to build necessary background without giving away the text’s compelling narrative. Throughout the reading of this text, make sure to provide students with time to connect with and reflect on information about racism, discrimination, and segregation:

  • In 1963, there were laws in the South that kept black and white people apart. People were segregated, which means separated, in restaurants, schools, and even at drinking fountains.

  • The laws were racist. They denied rights to black people because of the color of their skin.

  • The 1963 March on Washington was part of the Civil Rights Movement. It was not the only march or protest. People protested peacefully in many ways and many places. They wanted equal rights for black people. The protests made other Americans aware of the injustice.

  • Finally, in 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. This law made segregation illegal everywhere in the United States. However, racism and segregation still exist in America and there is more work to be done until equality is achieved.

Visual Expression: Signs

Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington shows people holding signs during the march. Some people used signs to speak out against what was wrong. Others used signs to share their dreams.

  • Imagine that you are going to the march.

  • Decide what to write on your sign. Use the signs on pp. 12–13 and 20–21 help you.

  • Make your sign. You can add a picture if you want.

  • With your classmates, hold your sign as you walk around the room.

Content Areas: Music

During the March on Washington, people sang songs, such as “We Shall Overcome.” Some of the words to that song are shown on p. 27 of Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington.

  • Search the Internet by “We Shall Overcome” or visit this site to see the words and hear the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhnPVP23rzo 

  • Practice singing the song.

  • Sing the song with the class as you march around the room.

Text(s): The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Teaching Extension: School Integration

Before or during reading of The Story of Ruby Bridges, share the information below. Endeavor to build necessary background without giving away the text’s compelling narrative:

  • Explain that in 1960, schools in the South were legally segregated. That means the law said black and white students could not go to the same schools. This was true even though the Supreme Court (the most important U.S. judges) in 1954 had said school segregation was against the law.

  • Point out that the segregated schools were not equal. The schools for black students were in old buildings, and they did not have enough books or other supplies.

  • Tell students that Ruby Bridges was the first black child in the South to go to a segregated school that had been only for whites. She helped to integrate, or bring together, children of different races in one school.

  • Acknowledge that many schools and communities today are still segregated. This is because the work of overcoming racism is not complete.

  • With students, discuss why integrated schools and diverse classrooms are good for learning and for our country. Explain that they allow students from different races, ethnic backgrounds, and income levels to learn from one another. This helps fight racism and offers children everywhere greater opportunities. It also helps people understand and respect one another, which is important for our country.

Verbal Expression: Dialogue

Ruby’s parents are proud of her and believe that what she is doing is important. Her teacher is also proud of her. Work with a partner or small group to make up a conversation between Ruby and her parents or between Ruby and her teacher.

  • Imagine how each character feels about the events.

  • Decide where they are speaking and what they say to each other. For example, Ruby and her parents might talk after her first day in school. Ruby and her teacher might have a conversation during school .

  • Practice your conversation.

  • Share it with the class

Text(s): Ruby Bridges Goes to School by Ruby Bridges

NOTE: You may wish to provide Cuisenaire rods, finger puppets, or other manipulative objects for discussions of some people’s angry reactions to Ruby Bridges. This will offer students some emotional distance when recreating a potentially distressing and/or disruptive scene. Consider your students’ emotional readiness in framing such discussions. You may also wish to learn more about the range of reactions people had. See http://www.ducksters.com/history/civil_rights/ruby_bridges.php.

Online Field Trip: Rockwell Museum

On pp. 23–24, you can see part of the painting Normal Rockwell made about Ruby Bridges’s walk to school. Take an online field trip to the Rockwell museum.

  • Visit these sites to see some of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings, including the one about Ruby:




  • View the painting called “The Problem We All Live With.” Why do you think Rockwell gave the painting that title?

  • Look at the paintings of the four freedoms. Which one do you think is most important? Why?

  • Share your findings and ideas with the class.

Content Areas: History

Ruby describes how Federal marshals walked with her past angry crowds, but not everyone was angry. Many people—both black and white—supported Ruby and her family. They sent notes or gifts, and even money for her parents. They helped to keep Ruby safe on her way to school. Show your support for Ruby or someone else who fights for justice.

  • With a group, talk about your thoughts and feelings about the fight for justice. Share ideas about reasons to support Ruby or another person who fights for justice.

  • On your own, decide if you will make a gift or write a note.

  • Use art supplies to make a gift. Show the person that you support the fight for justice. OR

  • Write a note in your best handwriting or on the computer. Tell the person why you think the fight for justice is important.

  • If possible, send your gift or note to the person.

Text(s): Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend by Justine and Ron Fontes

NOTE: The Teaching Extension activity is ideal for background building prior to reading, but can also be used to extend student interest during and after reading

Teaching Extension: Slavery, Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation

Before or during reading of Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend, share the information below. Endeavor to build necessary background without giving away the text’s compelling narrative:

  • 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 were also enslaved.

  • Most enslaved people were in the southern states, where they were forced to work on large plantations.

  • When Abraham Lincoln became President, the southern states were upset. They knew he was against slavery.

  • The southern states separated to form their own government. When they attacked a U. S. fort, the Civil War began. It was also called the war between the South and the North.

  • In January 1, 1863, Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation, which said enslaved people were now free. This made the southerners even more angry.

  • Six months later, the North finally beat the South in the battle at Gettysburg.

  • In 1865, the 13th Amendment was passed. It made slavery against the law in America.

Text(s): Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Teaching Extension: Background on Slave Family Life

To prepare for reading Henry’s Freedom Box share this information:

  • Enslaved people often married and had children, but these families had no rights. American laws at that time did not recognize them as families who were entitled to stay together.

  • An owner could sell any member of the family to a different owner, so families of enslaved people were often separated.

  • For information on some enslaved people who were able to reunite with their families after separation, visit and share information from sites such as these (Students will need help to read the advertisements):



Visual Expression: Mapping Henry’s Route

The Author’s Note explains that Henry’s box was mailed from Richmond, Virginia. The box travels by steamship to Washington, DC. Then it goes by train to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Work with a partner to show the route.

  • Find each place on a map of the United States. What states are in between?

  • On a large sheet of paper, show the route. You can draw the states or show the route in some other way.

  • Share your artwork with the class. 

All Module Texts

Social Justice/Equality: Poster

In this module, you read about many people who helped make this country more just. But there is still work to be done. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech continues to inspire people today. Make an I Have a Dream Poster to show your dream for the future.

  • Think about a change you would like to see in the world.

  • Finish the sentence: I have a dream that _____.

  • Add a drawing or picture to your poster.

  • Share your poster with the class.




Text(s): Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis

Visual Expression: Page Design

The art in Bone Button Borscht is fun to look at. Some pictures are very big, and other are quite little. The pictures are in different places on the pages, too. Create your own art for one of the spreads. (A spread is two pages that show together when the book is open.)

  • Fold your paper in half. Then turn it so it looks like two pages in a book.

  • Look through the book to remember what happens.

  • Choose an event to illustrate in a different way.

  • Write one or two sentences that tell what is happening. You can write on both pages or just one.

  • Add your art to the pages.

  • Share your spread with the class.

Content Areas: Mathematics

Borscht is an eastern European soup made of vegetables. Imagine that you need to cook enough soup for 20 people.  The recipe makes enough soup for only 10 people.

  • Here are the ingredients in the recipe:

    • 8 cups of vegetable broth

    • 3 large beets

    • 4 cups of cabbage

    • 1 large onion

    • 3 carrots

    • 2 cups of white mushrooms

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil

    • 1 lemon (squeezed for its juice)

    • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • Change the amounts so you will have enough soup. List each ingredient with the new amount.

Text(s): Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

NOTE: Contact a local food bank or pantry to find out what foods are needed. You may want to involve other classes in the project and/or ask for parental help in delivering the food.

Social Justice/Equality: Collect Food

The soldiers are hungry when they come to the village. Many religions and cultures teach the importance of feeding the hungry. One way to do so is to give food to a food bank or food pantry. Work with your classmates to collect food.

  • Visit this website to locate a food bank near school: feedamerica.org.

  • Have your teacher call the food bank to find out what foods are needed.

  • Work with classmates to write a letter explaining the project. Tell what kind of foods are needed.

  • Bring the letter home. If you can, bring back a type of food mentioned in the letter.

Text(s): Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell

Performance Arts: Talk Show Role-Play

Good Enough to Eat teaches us about a healthy diet and how our bodies use food. Work with a partner to create a talk-show role play. One of you will be the talk show host. The other will be a guest on the show who knows a lot about healthy food.

  • Together list questions that the talk show host will ask.

  • Discuss answers to each question.

  • Decide who will be the talk-show host and who will be the guest.

  • Practice the role-play.

  • Perform it for the class.

Text(s): Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Visual Expression: Mime Game

Strega Nona hires Big Anthony to do household chores. In a small group, take turns performing the chores in mime. When you do something in mime, you don’t use words or props. You just use movement.

  • Choose one of the chores to perform in mime.

  • Close your eyes and picture yourself doing the chore. Imagine all the steps.

  • Then mime the steps for the students in your group.

  • The student who guesses the chore correctly gets a turn to mime.

  • Mime all the chores in the book. Then take turns miming other chores and activities.

Text(s):  Strega Nona: Her Story by Tomie dePaola

NOTE: For the Teaching Extension, bring in bottles of dried herbs and spices such as those listed below. For the garlic, you may want to bring in a bottle of garlic powder as well as some bulbs. Verify any allergy information on students before exposing them to foods.

Teaching Extension: Build Background on Herbs

  • Point out that Strega Nona gives people garlic for stomach aches and rosemary to grow hair.

  • Share this information:

    • Garlic is a vegetable somewhat like an onion. Rosemary is a plant called an herb.

    • People use plants like garlic and herbs for cooking to add flavor to foods.

    • People also use plants for healing. For example, some plants are good for stomach aches, colds, or other problems.

    • Not all plants can be used for cooking or healing. Some are dangerous.

  • Bring in bottles of dried herbs and spices, such as these: garlic, rosemary, cinnamon, anise, mint. For garlic, explain that we use it as a flavoring even though it isn’t actually an herb.

  • Tell students which part of the plant is used to make the flavoring: garlic bulbs, rosemary leaves, cinnamon bark, anise seeds, mint leaves.

  • Allow students to look at and smell each flavoring. Elicit observations and reactions.

  • Then invite volunteers to identify a flavoring by smell, with eyes covered.

  • For more information about herbs, have students visit this site:  https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-meet-my-friend-herb/ 

Community/Cultural Connections: Interview

Many people use herbs and spices in foods and drinks.

  • Interview family members or neighbors about their use of herbs and spices. Ask questions such as these:.

    • Which herbs and spices do you use?

    • Which ones do you use in cooking?

    • Which ones do you use in tea?

    • Which ones do you use for taste?

    • Which ones do you use when you have a stomach ache or other problem?

  • Share your findings with the class.

Text(s): What Happens to a Hamburger? by Paul Showers

NOTE: Provide a school address, including your room number of other identifier. Create a mailbox for students to “deliver” their postcards. Assign postcard recipients so that each student receives at least one card.

Verbal Expression: Postcard

Food travels through the body as it is being digested. Imagine that you are something that has just been eaten.

  • Write a postcard from one of these places along the way. You can find the places in the book.

    • mouth

    • epiglottis

    • throat

    • esophagus

    • stomach

    • small intestine

  • On one side of the postcard, write: Hello from the [name of body part]. Add a picture if you like.

  • On the other side, draw a line from top to bottom to make two sections.

  • In one section describe what is happening. You can be serious or funny.

  • Sign your card with the name of the food.

  • In the other section, write the address for your class. Add a classmate’s name.

  • Mail your postcard to the class mailbox.

  • Take turns as the mail carrier to deliver cards to the person in the address.

  • Share the cards you received.

All Module Text(s)


  • If your students need background on commercials, play this video: Minion Toy Commercial (0:00–0:30).

  • Display texts from the year’s modules around the room to refresh students’ thinking.

  • Create and distribute Handout: Performance Graphic Organizer, and review its directions.

Handout: Performance Graphic Organizer


  1.  Write down the names of the students in your group.

  2. Choose a song, poem, or commercial. Circle your choice.

  3. Write the number of the module you’ve been assigned.

  4. Write three sentences about your module.

  5. Record the hook, the name of the two texts, and three to five key details.

  6. Assign roles to share the hook, the name of the text, and each detail.

Student Names




Choose and circle:


Song                                                              Poem                                                         Commercial


Module #______________


3 Sentences about your Module


EE – Grade 2 Mod 5 Sub Table

HookHook3-5 Key Details
3-5 Key Details
Detail #1
Detail #2
Detail #3
Detail #4
Detail #5
Assign Roles: Who’s Speaking When?
Text #1
Text #2
Detail #1
Detail #2
Detail #3
Detail #4
Detail #5