This is the perfect time of the year to read and compare the different versions of the dark, dark wood story. I begin with Christine Ross' "In a Dark, Dark Wood" (big book).
The first reading is for enjoyment; there's quite a surprise at the end. Then we read it through again, and on each page I ask the children to identify the important word. ("And up that dark, dark path, there was a dark, dark house.") I use highlighter tape to highlight that word in the big book. Then, of course, we reread the entire book again. It's just so much fun to read!
Finally I pass out the little versions of the story for the students to read and illustrate (free download below, cut each page in half, assemble, staple together.) After the children read each page, they need to highlight the important word on each page, as we did with the whole group. The highlighted important word is what they will illustrate. In their little books, the children decide what they want to be in the box at the end of the story. It's always interesting to read their final pages!
As the children work on these books throughout the week, they will practice reading and rereading them. My word wall words for the week come right from this book and so I know this activity gives them a lot of practice with those words.
On the second day we read "A Beasty Story" by Steven Kellogg and Bill Martin. This version is a hoot! After reading it through, we complete a large venn diagram to compare the story elements.
On the third day, we read "A Dark Dark Tale" by Ruth Brown. At first, and throughout, this seems to be the scariest of the three books. But, oh my, the ending is quite a surprise! It's a must read. A lively discussion always follows the reading of this book.
Head over to Ginger Snaps' Halloween-spiration Linky Party for more Halloween week ideas.