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Interactive Read Aloud: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes may just be the greatest back-to-school book of all time.  Ask any primary elementary school teacher and they’ll probably tell you it’s in their top 5!  It is definitely one of my favorites and for that reason, I have just created an Interactive Read Aloud to go along with it.  Keep reading to find out what all is included in this resource.

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Chrysanthemum is a story about a little mouse with quite the name.  “It scarcely fits on a nametag.”  She has a lot of feelings about her name as do the girls in her class.  It’s not until the end that she is truly satisfied with her name.  It’s a must-read to go along with name activities at the beginning of the year.

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start Interactive Read Alouds.  Teach your students early on and do them often.  You can click >>HERE<< or on the image below to see this resource.

Just like all of my interactive read aloud resources, this one includes all of the same components.

Interactive Read Aloud Planner & Sticky Note Printables

These planners tell you everything you need to know for 2 interactive read alouds.  It tells you which pages to stop at, what to ask for in-depth comprehension and the type of class response (turn and talk, stop and jot/draw, act it out, etc.).  It’s a great overview of each reading of the book.  

The sticky notes are probably my favorite part.  I love printing the notes from the planner onto these sticky notes and sticking them on the page where you are to stop and interact with the book.  Not sure how to print on sticky notes?  No worries, I’ve got you covered!  Check out this blog post >>HERE<<

chrysanthemum read aloud

Print and Cut Notes

These are a new addition to my interactive read aloud resources.  Printing on sticky notes is not everyone’s cup of tea so I wanted to make it easy for teachers to print and cut the stopping points.  So you literally just have to print, cut, and put them in the book.  No need to take the time to print on sticky notes, everything you need is right in these little paper slips of goodness. ????

Read Aloud Vocabulary

This resource includes resources to teach 3 vocabulary words: wilted, dreadful and scarcely.  You will get sticky note and print and cut printables with just the vocabulary on it so you can keep those sticky notes or print and cut notes right in the book.  There is also an additional strong vocabulary activity.  I would suggest completing this with as a class or providing your students with extra books for searching for strong words.  

chrysanthemum read aloud

Retelling Worksheets & Mini-Charts

Also included in every interactive read aloud resource are retelling worksheets that can be used for assessment and a connecting worksheet where kids are asked: “What does this make you think about?”  Rather than asking them a specific question, they can make connections and write about what they think about.  There are also some mini-charts that will help you brainstorm flower names to support your ELL and students with special needs, as well as a mini-chart to keep track of what we have learned about Chrysanthemum.  

There are several different worksheets you can choose from to differentiate for your students.  The boxes without lines would be great for kinder or beginning first graders, and the ones with lines would work for second graders.  Retelling is an essential Common Core Skill and this will help your students begin to practice this vital skill.   

Getting to Know You Activities

At the beginning of the year, I always do name activities to get to know my students.  I have included 2 activities to help you get to know your students and for them to get to know each other.

The first is an activity where the students think about what they know about Chrysanthemum and think of words that describe her and her name.  Once you have done that as a class, each student gets their own sheet to draw a self-portrait and come up with words that describe them and their name.  I can’t wait to see what my students come up with.  

If you’ve got first graders like me, then have them do their own self-portrait, and send it home to have parents come up with words that describe their child. Or even better, at back-to-school night.

chrysanthemum read aloud

This would be an adorable getting to know you book. In fact, I just made a quick cover you can use.  Put the Chrysanthemum page in the front and the rest of the kids’ behind it.  Get the cover >>HERE<< or by clicking the image below!

The second is a Venn Diagram where students can compare themselves to Chrysanthemum and with a friend.  This may be a little tough for kinder or first graders, but this would be great for second grade. This would be great to do with some older buddies too.

chrysanthemum read aloud

I am so excited about this resource and I love using it with my students every year!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite activities to go along with Chrysanthemum.   Share in the comments or email me at [email protected]


Additionally, here are some more read aloud resources that you might find useful.

all about interactive read alouds
  • Read Alouds: Interactive Read Aloud Bundle for the Year Grab 20 read aloud lesson plans for less than $3 each. That’s $1-$2 off each read aloud. Buy now, and get new read alouds for free when they are added.
Read Aloud Guide Sign Up

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chrysanthemum read aloud
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