Before reading the story, take the index cards to make 7 individual signs. Each card will have a different grade written with glitter glue that says, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, and Kindergarten. Take one paper plate and use markers to make a pizza. Take the other paper plate and use markers to make a birthday cake. Attach tongue depressors with glue to everything that you've made so they look like signs. Feel free to use other materials to make the signs if you wish.
When you are ready to read the story, tell the children that you will need volunteers to help you. The volunteers will get one sign to hold up every time they hear the words in the story. Pass out the signs to the children you choose. Begin reading the story and watch to see the children raising their signs when they hear their words. For example: A common phrase in the story is, "Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, and Kindergarten." When the child holding the Grade 1 sign hears the words, Grade 1, then he/she is to hold up the sign. They put the sign down once the next word is read.
Children really enjoy this story, especially because they can be active participants in the story. You can make doubles of signs so that all children in your classroom can participate at the same time or you can read the story again until all children have had a turn. This activity promotes listening skills.