Context Clues Aren't Stinky with The Skunk on Book Talk Thursday!

Context clues can be tricky for many students, but the fun book The Skunk will have students thinking about the words and how the young man will get away from the skunk!

Oh no! You read that right! A skunk is on its way to Book Talk Thursday, and it is following us! What would you do if a skunk followed you! In Mac Barnett's book, The Skunk, our character tells us just what to do. {Affiliate links provided to fund future book purchases.}

Book Summary

The main character in the story, a young man, is being followed throughout the story by a skunk. He tries many different things to get rid of the skunk. He tries to run from him, give him items, and even goes to the opera. To no avail, the skunk continues to follow him. The man ends up buying a new house where the skunk cannot find him. But what happens when the man realizes the skunk is not there?

Classroom Application

Since my fifth grade students won't be able to read and vote on these books next year, I have been reading the books to them and using them as we review for the upcoming SOL tests. Quickly, I was able to think of several lessons to use this book with. At first I thought conflict resolution, but then I realized the mood changes throughout the story. We talked about that, but I felt there was so much more.

The narrator uses some strong vocabulary throughout the book. Since words in context is something they really struggle with, this was the perfect skill to focus on. After reading the book one time to the students, I gave each student in my small group a word from the story. Their job was to listen to the words and use clues to decide what they meant. They then wrote down the definition and clues on their sticky notes to share. Here are some examples.
Context clues can be tricky for many students, but the fun book The Skunk will have students thinking about the words and how the young man will get away from the skunk!

Context clues can be tricky for many students, but the fun book The Skunk will have students thinking about the words and how the young man will get away from the skunk!

After discussing the words, we got out these old cards and worked on them. Using that same sticky note, the students wrote down their answers, and I checked them.
Context clues can be tricky for many students, but the fun book The Skunk will have students thinking about the words and how the young man will get away from the skunk!

Using The Skunk for context clues was a great way to get students thinking about those words. The conversations the students had about the story also made it fun. I love how they really thought about what they main character was feeling throughout the story. 
Context clues can be tricky for many students, but the fun book The Skunk will have students thinking about the words and how the young man will get away from the skunk!

Stay tuned as I continue to work through the Virginia Readers' Choice books for next year!

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