Book Talk Thursday ~ Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

I am so excited to be able to spend a couple of days with some other lovers of reading and the Virginia State Reading Association conference!  It is even more exciting that it is right here only 15 minutes from my house!  Yay!  But it is still time for...

When preparing for a sub after a couple of snow days, I have to be creative.  We have nothing to build on from the week, so I usually fill the days with read alouds.  For the second graders, I chose an old favorite, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig.
This book has a wonderful message for children.  In the book, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that will grant any wish when he holds it.  He begins by wishing the rain away and thinking about how wonderful this pebble will serve his family.  While going home, he encounters a lion, and instead of wishing for the lion to go away or become something like a flower, he decides to wish to be a rock.  Now what will he do to get back home?  His parents worry, and he sits as a rock through the seasons.  When his parents arrive at the "rock" for a picnic, they find the pebble.  The story changes at this point for the good!

When I first decided to use this book, I decided to have the students think of what they would wish for and write about it, but how many times have they written about that?!  So, I searched high and low for a fun activity and happened upon this one from The Best Children's  Since I wanted something simple that any substitute can do, I felt that it made sense.

I read it yesterday with one of my second grade groups.  I said very little other than the words on the page, and I loved listening to them as they made and changed predictions.  A lot of teachers don't want to the kids to talk when they are reading, but I love to hear it!  I know they are thinking about what I am reading!

After reading the book, we talked about the good and bad of the pebble.  Then I handed out the "Warning" tag.  They had to fill out the tag and then draw a picture of the item on the back.  They could either choose the pebble or something else. Here are some examples.
The pebble
A magic doll
A flower
And my favorite magic flower
I created my own warning label to fit my needs, and I am sharing it with you!  Click {here} or on the picture below to grab your own copy.   There are two on the page to help with copying!

This would be a great activity for many different books to help students understand that anything good can also yield bad results.

What are some other books that help teach students about what is truly important in life?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Andrea, Did you mean to link your "Warning" sheet to your whole dropbox? I can see 50+ files when I click it.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

    1. Thank you for letting me know! I have fixed it!!



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