Archives for October 2016

Fall Comprehension~ ‘Apples and Pumpkins’


Once Upon A Story there was a book named, “Apples and Pumpkins,” By Annie Rockwell. “Apples and Pumpkins,” takes your little one on a young girl’s family fall adventure picking apples and pumpkins; and is one of my favorite fall books to use when I teach reading comprehension!

What is reading comprehension? It is the ability and skill to understand what you read. Just like we teach the skill of blending (putting letters together to make words), we need to teach the skill of comprehension.

Read “Apples and Pumpkins” and dialogue using these 5 basic questions below to model and foster the skill of comprehension! img_3575

WHO- Who is the story about? A family: Mom, Dad, and young girl

WHAT- What are they doing? Traveling to a farm to pick apples & pumpkins

WHEN- When does the story happen? One day in the fall/ October

WHERE- Where does the story take place? Comstock Farm

WHY- Why does the family go on this adventure? To pick apples & a pumpkin for their Halloween activities!

Click HERE to download my *FrEe* APPLE and PUMPKIN question cards for added fun!

Over the years, I have taught many children who can read above their grade level, but struggle when asked these basic comprehension questions. If your little learner can read, but does not remember or understand what they read, it will limit their reading success. These basic comprehension questions (who, what, when, where, why) are asked in all grade levels, so why not help your little learner begin to understand these questions early for future success?

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Another great way to work on comprehension with “Apples and Pumpkins,” is to compare and contrast the story with what your family does when it is fall. Do you go to a farm to gather apples and pumpkins? Do you carve a pumpkin? Do you hand out apples on Halloween or something different? Comparing and contrasting “Apples and Pumpkins” to your child’s real life experience is a true ‘higher order level thinking’ activity!


“Apples and Pumpkins,” is a wonderful, snuggle-up-and-read fall story to use to help your little learner consciously learn how to comprehend; and I hope it makes its way into your home!


So, do you have a fall family adventure that you do every year?
I would love for your little learner to illustrate one of your fall family adventures using
*FrEe* drawing page (pictured above) and tag me in it:
@mushmushreaders OR #mushmushreaders

Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White


Forgive me as I deviate from our fall-themed posts this month to share a not-to-be-missed book that just arrived at my front door.   I had forgotten that I had pre-ordered this gem.   (and what a gem it is!)   If are a lover on all things E. B. White (and who isn’t?) then you are going to want to order this book and I predict you WILL hug it when it arrives.


I’m going to turn this post over to NPR’s All Things Considered, where the author, Melissa Sweet discusses White’s creative process.   Before I let you go, here is a quote from White’s granddaughter, Martha White.   Displayed on the back cover of the book, I read this quote before even opening the book and somehow I just knew I would end up hugging this new book.

Like my grandfather, Melissa Sweet has somehow kept that childlike sense of wonder at the world and (thankfully) found an avenue to share it with the rest of us.  She is an observer, sometimes a collector, and she seems to work from a place of gratitude for the natural beauty that surrounds us…  Here, in these pages, you will find the grandfather I remember so well.. Now, thanks to Melissa Sweet, you can know him too.”   Martha White

Oh…. Sweet also introduces the manual typewriter to children.   Seriously – when did I become so ancient?  I had one of these!


New Biography Celebrates E.B. White,
Who Really Was ‘Some Writer!’

Some Writer! would be a fabulous teacher gift.  This book is brand new and was just made available this week.  Hopefully, your child’s teacher hasn’t heard about it yet, and you can surprise him/her with this delightful biography.