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Reading/Writing
Grade: 3-5

#4459. Guided Reading for A Puppy for the White House

Reading/Writing, level: 3-5
Posted Thu Nov 11 10:37:42 PST 2010 by Kathleen Smith (Kathleen Smith).
A Puppy for the White House
Children's author, Westminster, CO
Materials Required: children's book - A Puppy for the White House
Activity Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: geography, president and government, similies, metaphors,

Benchmark: [Access and use language to construct and demonstrate knowledge, i.e. social studies]

The title and the picture make you think that the story will be about a dog and the White House. Where is the White House located? (use map of Washington, D.C.)
http://dcpages.com/cgibin/jump.cgi?ID=11576
Who lives in the White House? What is the Oval Office?

Read the first two pages (classroom)

Benchmark: [Use knowledge of literary techniques, i.e. figurative language
Use language which supports and enriches the idea]

Why do you think the author described their hands flying in the air like the American flag patriotic and proud? (simile)
Is the American flag patriotic? Is the American flag proud? (personification) Who is proud?
Do you think the author used this simile for some reason?

Why couldn't the author use the real names of the first family? Any thoughts? As we read on we are going to come back to this concept when we talk about the illustrations of the members of the first family. (the girls are private citizens)

Read the next three pages (ending with teacher)

What were the reasons they were going to keep a list in the front of the class? (to remain focused and realistic)

Look at page four (the cover of the children's book)


Look at the title page of the book the class created. Why is there a beige border? Look at the text- it is changed. . . why? (to give the illusion of a teacher reading a book)

Read the first three pages of the children's book


Look at the page with the girls. Why do you think the backs of their heads and not their faces are showing, while on the previous page we can see the face of President Obama. (he is a public figure while the children are private citizens)

Read the next page (stars and moon)

Think what would happen after they came home after winning the election. Begin with sentence with- They arrived home. . . Write a new paragraph about what they did after they came home. Remember to use quotations.

Read the next five pages (ending with cookie page)

Benchmark: [Use knowledge of literary techniques, i.e. figurative language]


What does it mean to be fueled with excitement? What part of the body was fueled?

Benchmark: [Summarize and organize information about a topic in a variety of ways]

Read the next page (dressed up dog)

Brainstorm a list of things that the First Family might look for to find a dog that would be less aggravating for a person with allergies.

Go around the room and list all the breeds of dogs that the children have ever had. Make up some funny new breeds. (draw pictures of new breeds)

Benchmark: [Write in a variety of modes such as narrative, expository, or descriptive for various audiences and purposes]

Have each child research one breed and write a report

Benchmark: [Use knowledge of literary techniques, i.e. figurative language

What does it mean to have your imagination ignite? Write a paragraph beginning with, "We could dress it up in pearls and a velvet hat. " and continue it as though your imagination was ignited.

Read the next two pages (ending with the Peruvian Hairless dog)

Look at a map of South America and point out where Machu Picchu is located. Have pictures available. http://www.peru-machu-picchu.com/

Benchmark: [Access and use language to construct and demonstrate knowledge]

Read the next four pages (ending on the spaghetti page)

What does it mean to look at someone with new eyes?

Read the rest of the book

President Obama was sworn in the 44th president of the United States. Who was the first president? What year did he become president? How long is a presidential term? When we multiply 44 x 4 we come up with 174 years. It has been longer than that. Explain this discrepancy.

What is a Commerce Secretary? The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce."[2] Until 1913 there was one Secretary of Commerce and Labor, uniting this department with the Department of Labor, which is now headed by a separate Secretary of Labor.[3]



The last sentence in the story says the teacher's words fanned the wildfires of their imagination. What does that mean?

During the story that the class made up they have used real quotes said by President Obama during his campaign speeches and interviews. Can you find any? ("Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House." "Nothing too girlie, I'd like to find a shelter dog but obviously most of those dogs are mutts like me." "I did get an offer from The Friends of the Peruvian Hairless Dog Association. They have offered you girls a four-month-old pedigreed male puppy. They have named it Ears. But if we did get that dog we could change its name to Machu Picchu." I have had more trouble picking a dog than a Commerce Secretary."