David Goes to School

 By David Shannon

   Recommended ages: 4-7    

This beautifully illustrated book, with its simplistic phrasing lends itself nicely to language exploration, storytelling (and extension), and appropriate school behavior. Read together with your child, use gestures and facial expressions to elicit language, and review alternative behavior choices.

Tanya’s Tips:

  • Start out by asking your child about the illustration on the cover. What does your child think will happen during the story? Can your child guess where will this story take place? Is your child able to identify the printed letters/words? How about the sounds those letters/words make? Ask your child to identify the author’s name. Can your child tell you what an author does?
  • Speak about the picture on the title page. Can your child identify who is illustrated on that page? If your child responds by saying “a mommy”, point out items in the background that assist in the identification of this person. Once this person is identified, ask your child what his or her new teacher might be like.
  • Discuss what the word “tardy” means. Ask your child how David feels about being tardy. How was your child able to figure it out? Can your child mimic a nervous face? Sad face? Happy face? Excited face? Mad face?
  • Upon getting to the “painting page”, gasp, and wait for your child to comment. Ask your child if he or she would do what David is doing, why or why not? How does your child think the little girl feels?
  • Discuss what “cutting the line” means. Ask in a silly, playful way whether David needs scissors to cut the line. Ask your child what another word for “cutting” is in this case.
  • Ask your child why David has to stay after school. Discuss where David’s friends are when he’s cleaning the desks and how David feels to have to stay after school.
  • On the last page, ask your child what David will do when he gets home.
  • Upon finishing the story, ask your child what the story was about. Go back to the pages of David behaving inappropriately. Can your child identify positive alternative behaviors?
  • Play time! Reenact the story giving each child a specific role, play school, and/or create a new page for the book (encourage your child to create an illustration and sound out a related two word phrase).