I Want a Dog, By Jon Agee

My fourth grade class recently began our thematic study of dogs. During this study, we will participate in an Interactive Read Aloud, Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer, read fiction and nonfiction books about dogs and become experts on the subject.  To introduce our unit this year, we read I Want a Dog by Jon Agee.

In this story, a young girl enters the Happydale Animal Shelter in search of a dog.  Many students connected to this, and were excited to see what type of dog she would choose.  The tall man working at the animal shelter works diligently to interest the young girl in a different animal.  He brings out an anteater, an armadillo, an upside down goldfish, even a lizard disguised as a dog. The illustrations show her mounting frustration, as the man works harder and harder to find her the perfect pet.

This was a great opportunity for my students to practice our mantra “Reading is Thinking,” using two of our reading strategies:  Asking Talkworthy Questions and Determining Author’s Message.

While reading, students stopped to jot and then turn and talk about their thinking. Here’s a glimpse into their thinking:

There are so many ways to incorporate I Want a Dog into your Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop:  Asking Questions, Making Predictions, Identifying Dialogue, Show Don’t Tell.  This book is a great addition to your mentor texts.

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