Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is a lovely story about a scarecrow who has other things going on in his head than doing his job of scaring crows away.
We are entertained and challenged to live a little more fully, as the scarecrow does . . .
How to Use it in Your Classroom
BEFORE READING: Making Predictions & Accessing Schema
Before you read the story, help the students access their prior knowledge of scarecrows with some leading questions:
- Have you ever seen a scarecrow?
- Where have you seen scarecrows?
- What is the purpose (job) of a scarecrow?
As your students answer these questions, you may see the opportunity to provide some background information about how farmers used scarecrows to do just that – scare crows away from their crops.
“As we read this story, let's see if our scarecrow fulfills the purpose (the job) a scarecrow.”
DURING READING: Making Connections & Reflections
Pause and invite your students to enjoy the illustrations and the beautiful language of the story.
- What is our scarecrow doing?
- Is he doing his ‘job'?
Use the flip-flap book to record observations about the scarecrow:
AFTER READING: Reflecting & Opinion Writing
Encourage students to retell the story, using their ‘Scarecrow' flip-flap book.
Reviewing all these things about the scarecrow will set the stage for you to lead your students into a deeper meaning of this story. . .
there may be more important and meaningful things to do than just our jobs. . . .
Perhaps we are meant to appreciate the wonder and beauty around us in its richness and have a sense of joy and contentment with ourselves, just as we are.
- Do you think the scarecrow did his job?
- Did he fulfill his purpose?
- Why or why not?
- Do you think he had a more important purpose than being scary and scaring crows?
- In your opinion, do you think he loves his life?
- Why? Encourage students to use examples from the text to support their reasons.
Use the ‘In My Opinion' graphic organizer for your students to write a rough draft for their opinion. I have also included some paper for publishing their final draft.
See below on how to get your free copy of this Book Companion: Scarecrow.
This beautiful story can provide great motivation to learn in other academic areas! I love to start with a story because the students' imaginations have been activated and that enhances learning!
DATA ANALYSIS with GLYPHS
Your students will love making these cute scarecrow glyphs. The finished glyphs provide a fun way to practice data collection, data graphing, and data analysis.
These glyphs also make a stunning fall bulletin board!
MATH FACT FLUENCY with BUMP
Do your students need more practice with their addition or multiplication math facts in a fun and engaging way?
Check out the Addition & Multiplication BUMP Games!