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 . . .
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 we read this story, let’s see if our scarecrow fulfills the purpose (the job) a scarecrow.
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.
Scarecrow: ‘has’ – ‘likes’ – ‘thinks’ – ‘knows’
Encourage students to retell the story, using their the ‘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, 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 attached ‘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.