Materials: Score One for the Sloths by Helen Lester, large template of a suitcase (2 per student), letter-size manila folders (one for each student), small index cards, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, markers, lined chart paper
Objective: To create a suitcase for Sparky that includes items she will need once she arrives at Sleepy Valley Sloth School. Each item needs to be explained in terms of their relevance to the story.
1. Read the book and discuss the ways that Sparky was able to help the larger group of sloths in their time of need. List these ways on chart paper.
2. Hold up the manila folder with the suitcase template glued to both sides and then open it and ask, "What kinds of things will Sparky need to take in her suitcase on her trip to her new school?
3. Help the students recall that the antagonist in the story, who wanted to close the school, was looking for the lack of acceptable student performance in the following areas: reading, music, block building, math, poetry and add gymnastics to the list. Display on chart paper and ask the students to come up with items that Sparky could use to help her classmates pass the test.
4. Each item needs to be drawn and its usage described. Here are some examples you might help your students with:
Hardcover books that sloths could not easily chew
A surround-sound system that plays classical music in the classrooms that they could hum to
Large pieces of twine strung from the classroom ceilings for them to practice their hanging skills
Sturdy large wooden block sets for making towers that sloths could hang from
Addition flash cards for all sloths to use for practice
CD book-sets of nursery rhymes for the sloths to listen to in order to memorize
Tooth picks to help keep the sloths' eyes open when the supervisor is around
Brewed coffee on hand to help keep the sloths awake.
5. Each item is to be drawn and written about on small index cards that are later glued inside the 'suitcase' folder. On the front of the folder students will also draw an identification tag with Sparky's name on it as well as travel tags showing other places she has been.
6. Students will have the opportunity to share their finished work 'gallery'-style in the classroom.