Homeschool Hub: animal stories

For our first Homeschool Hub: Read it! program of the year, I pulled one of the last themes that the kids suggested last school year. The idea was stories told from the point of view of an animal; I changed it slightly to include all animal stories. Here’s what we did!


I read a couple pigeon books by Mo Willems (I can’t remember and didn’t write down which ones… whoops.)

A chapter from The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo


Ivan: The remarkable true story of the shopping mall gorilla, followed by the first few chapters of The one and only Ivan, both by Katherine Applegate.

Activity: Create a book jacket!

I challenged the kids to create a book jacket, either for a book that already exists (one of the ones I read, their favorite, anything!) OR to create a new story and just make the book jacket.

First, we talked about some of the elements that are on book jackets, and what make a good one:

  • Title and author
  • a review. I suggested they tell a friend about the story and have another kid write a short review.
  • a summary
  • about the author
  • pictures

We talked about making the covers attractive and eye-catching, and making sure they communicate content, both what the book is about (plot, characters, setting, etc) and what it is like (tone, mood) through images and design elements.

Then we got started. I had 11×17 sheets of paper, markers, pencils, scissors, glue, and some die-cut animals and random shapes, but those were definitely not necessary. A few kids created covers for existing book, but most created a new story!

I forgot to take pictures of most of them, but here is one, plus my example:

See more homeschool programs!

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