The Perfect Pet Glycerine

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					                                          The Perfect Pet

Pet Search
Look through the book and see how many illustrations you can find that show the reader Elizabeth really,
really, really loves pets. Don‟t forget to look at what she‟s wearing.

Put on Your Thinking Cap
Elizabeth makes „plans‟ to convince her parents to let her have a pet. What‟s your plan

Have your own class pet plant.

Doug Bug

Make your own „Doug‟ bugs: Use cardboard or styrofoam egg cartons for body. Pipecleaners for legs. Use your imagine to
embellish and create your own very unique „perfect pet‟.

Get Buggy!
Study insects. Where do they live? What do they do? How do insects help and hurt our environment?

Create your own „perfect pet‟ from a large white sock. Add ears, eyes, tongue, beak, feathers --- whatever! to make your own
special animal friend.

                                                         Bad Boys

Find out what students already know
Ask? “What is a fairy tale?” Follow up by asking students what fairy tales they have read or heard. List responses on chart
paper. Come back to this question at the end of the unit. At that time ask students if they can identify the common
characteristics of a fairy tale. Compare the later answers to the original answers.
This activity can be set up as a K-W-L chart and used to track what students think they know about fairy tales, and what
they actually learned about fairy tales. (This can include story characteristics, plot similarities, history of fairy tales,
famous tales, puns, etc.)

New Classics
Explain to students that many of Margie Palatini‟s stories are new versions of old classics. How many can they identify? Make
a chart.

Have your students make a „wanted‟ poster of Willy and Wally.

                                                         Piggie Pie

What’s For Dinner?: Besides pies made of piggies, bunny bread, eekspresso, batscotti, rat-tail-tooey, and brew-ha-ha, what
else does Gritch‟s belly grumble to eat? Have students add their own imaginative recipes to the witch‟s Old Hag Cookbook.

Sequels: What happens next to the wolf and Foxy?
You will need a pair of scissors and two rubber bands.

1. Download the Mask - If you are on a Mac put your mouse on the image and hold down the mouse button until an option
menu comes up. Go to Save Image As, and save it to your desktop. - If you are on a PC put your mouse on the image and
right click until the option menu comes up and go to save file as.

2. Cut out the mask following the dotted line. Cut out the center of each piggie eye. Cut along dotted line of nose and gently
push it out towards you.

3. Make holes in the tabs under the piggie's ears.

4. Poke a rubber band through each hole. Pull on end of rubber band through the other end (slip knot).

5. Put mask up to face, wrap rubber bands around ears and OINK!

                                           Goldie is Mad & Good as Goldie

Use Margie's 'Goldie Guide' and have fun exploring
self esteem, emotions and appropriate behavior.

Oh, Brother! Have children talk about their own brothers or sisters. What sort of things do they do together? Draw a
family picture.

LOOK WHAT I CAN DO! What sort of things can your students or children do that a younger sibling cannot? What things
do their older siblings do that they cannot?


LITERARY DEVICES: Bedhead is chock-full with refrain, descriptive adjectives, foreshadowing, alliteration and
onomatopoeia. Read aloud and have your 'bedheads' identify the elements. Have them write a descriptive paragraph of their
                       own worst hair day.

                        SAY CHEESE: Draw self portraits with a bedhead. Or, have students come to school with a case of
                        really bad hair. Have students write about another students challenged follicles. Then take a class

                        BEDHEAD QUILT: If access to digital camera, take individual bed-head-shots. Make copies on "iron-
                        on"fabrics. Then sew together to make a class 'bedhead' quilt which can be used in raffle for school

                        'HAIRY' DIARY: Have students create a daily funny hairy day for a week or month in the life of a


WORDPLAY: EARTHQUACK! is filled with silly wordplay rhymes and puns. Discuss the meanings throughout the book:
(Examples: morning lap, gave a gander, raking a comb, „job description, hoofing it, Billy the Kid, nutty, hogwash, take to the
trees, „the doorway‟, get their goat, white winter coat, don‟t be sheepish, all wet, and the title, „Earthquack‟.)

RHYME TIME: Have your students create rhyming characters.
A GEOGRAPHY LESSON: Joel and Lowell really made a wrong turn! Show map of U.S. and the mole trip. Do your students
know the way to San Jose? Discuss directions

HOW DO WE MAKE TUNNELS? Joel and Lowell Mole were tunneling underground to find their cousin, Garrett Ferret.
Check out

PARODY: Read the original Henny Penny or Chicken Little. Discuss differences and similarities with this version.

EARTH & SCIENCE: How are tunnels built? For a fabulous child-friendly site with lots of information check out:
What causes earthquakes? Where do they happen?

NATURE & SCIENCE: Joel and Lowell are moles causing Little Chucky Ducky to think the earth is quaking. What other
animals or insects live underground? (A great „Google‟ search!)


LITERARY ELEMENTS: Tub-boo-boo is an old-fashioned 'cumulative' story with a sassy twist. Enjoy
the read-aloud with your students or your children and identify the refrain, sequence of events,
alliteration, and circle patterned plot. To find other cumulative stories, check out:,
Runaway Bunny, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

GOOD REPORTING: The final joke in Tub-boo-boo is the reporter misunderstands the meaning of 'tub-boo-boo'. Present a
'happening' in class (perhaps the principle, nurse, secretary, or parent can help out). That person does something in class
then, leaves. Teacher asks students for their 'eyewitness' reports. To reinforce the importance of good communication skills
and speaking clearly, play 'telephone'.

You will need:
2/3 cup of Joy Dishwashing Liquid
1 gallon of water
2-3 tablespoons of glycerine (available at pharmacies)

Gently stir ingredients. Leave overnight uncovered.
For more „Bubble‟ info:

                                                      The Web Files

WANTED POSTERS: Make „Wanted Poster‟ for fairytale scoundrels and other characters. (Example: Big Bad Wolf, Troll,
Giant, Missing „Peep‟ sheep, or the three kittens‟ mittens. Describe suspect, characteristics, crime, eyewitness reports,
reward, etc.)

Word Play: The Web Files is filled with silly puns and double meanings. How many can your students find, and what do they
mean? . . . (Examples: barnyard shift, squawking, fowl play, feathers are flying, check out the chicks, let‟s fly, P. Hen,
headquarters was hopping, make hay, bedtime story, „black for the boy in blue‟, horsin‟ around, out to pasture, hightailed, hot
on the tail, hole in the wall, „Duck‟, cheesy snitch, can it, flatfoot, „I‟m clean‟, salad days.)

Word Clues: Enhance logical thinking and vocabulary by playing „Mystery Words‟. (Example: Barn is to ----, as ---- is to stick.
Missing word is yard. Have students come up with their own.) Play Guess Who? or Clue.
Parody: Discuss parodies and spoofs. Review original nursery rhymes. Rent video of old Dragnet episode. Introduce Cole
Porter standard „Let‟s Call The Whole Thing Off‟ and discuss word pronunciation: tomatoes/ „tomahtoes‟, potatoes/

Tongue Twisters: What makes them difficult to say? What is alliteration?
Check out -- tongue twisters from A to Z and make your own.

Homophones: Have students write humorous riddles using homophones.
(Example: (q) What did the shovel say to the bucket? (a) Do you feel okay? You look pail.)

                               Moosetache & Mooseltoe

Have Fun with Moose Wordplay!Explore the silly word usage in Moosetache. What other silly mixed up words can students
create? (Example: What states would Moose make his home? Moosissippi, Moosouri; What does Moose like on his hot dog?

Have students write alliterative sentences describing themselves.

Descriptive Adjectives
Have students use expressive words to describe what it would feel like if they had a big, bristly, mighty moosetache.

Moose Math
Have students each draw a part of Moose‟s moosetache. Tape and „puzzle‟ together around your classroom or hall. Then
measure the moosetache. How many inches? Feet?

Moose Art
Have students draw a picture of themselves with a „mikestache‟, jamiestache, cindystache, etc.

Make chocolate mousse! Orange mousse! Asparagus mousse?

Tis the Season!
Have students make an ornament with a „moosetache‟.
Make a Mooseltoe Gift Bag: Fold top of small brown paper lunch bag. Cut out „u‟ shape from another bag.
Glue to first bag. Glue „hand‟ antlers to sides of bag.
Add „eyes‟, „nose‟, a mighty „moosetache‟, and decorate
„moose.‟ Make „gift card‟ and place under „moose‟s‟ nose.

(Use same idea for a moose hand puppet. Only turn upside down. Fold bottom for face. Add antlers, eyes,

                                                       Zak’s Lunch

DINER LINGO: “Fry the bird! All pins!” Diner Lingo is fun! Make up your own „short order shorthand‟ or Go to for some classics.

DELICIOUS ADJECTIVES: Have students write about their favorite foods using the most descriptive, yummy, lip-smackin'

DOG TREATS: "George" comes to the rescue and eats Zak's lunch. Do your students or children have any 'dog' stories to

DINER-AMA: Have students make a 'box lunch' diner dinoramas.

MENUS: Have students create their own 'place' and super menu.
EAT FRACTIONS: Have pizza, cake, or pie and eat fractions.

                                              Zoom Broom & Broom Mates

Homophone Fun: Make riddles and jokes using homophones. (source: The Dove Dove, & Eight Ate by Marvin Terban.) Which
One? Have students act out the „which one‟ dialogue.

Art Smart: Find all the funny design and illustrative elements Howard Fine as used throughout all the books. Discuss how
illustrations extend and complement the text.

Wordplay: Discuss alliteration, puns and parodies.

Use Your Noodle: Create an address book of Gritch‟s friends. Who will she be inviting to her monster bash? (Examples:
Mummy, Dr. Frank N. Stein and his new bride, Sam Witch.)

Sisters!: Gritch the Witch‟s sister, Mag the Hag debuts in Broom Mates. Ask children if they have a B(roomie) Write about
sibling. Draw a family portrait.

                                                 Mary Had a Little Ham

Let’s Pretend!
Have children pretend they are a character, as Stanley pretended to be a pirate. Use props -- just like Mary‟s little piggie.
(See how Stanley used a hanger for a hook? A trough was his boat?) Use your imaginations

Give Your Regards to Broadway!
Introduce students to the music of Broadway. (The King and I, The Sound of Music, The Lion King, etc.) Listen to the original
cast recordings, and learn a song, like „Getting to Know You.‟

Put on a play with your own troupe of little hams.
Or a puppet show, just like Stanley.
E-mail Margie for free readers‟ theater scripts of her books,
Piggie Pie, Earthquack, The Web Files, or Bad Boys.

Make a poster starring „you‟ in a play, movie or tv show.

Big Dreams/Pig Dreams
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Make a „piggie bank‟.

Big City
If you can make it here -- you can make it anywhere!
Build your own „big apple‟. Place assorted sized grey, white, and tan painted boxes in grids on top of black p aper. Make white
lines on „roads‟. Create street signs. Paint „windows‟ on buildings. Don‟t forget to include New York‟s famous landmarks like
The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, Radio City, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Museums, and of course, do n‟t
forget the bright lights of „Broadway‟.

Study New York City and all it‟s wonderful attractions.

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