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Author Study - Kevin Henkes

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Kevin Henkes is a wonderful author to read in your classroom. He has written many beloved books that teachers find helpful when teaching lessons about feelings, bullying, and respect. Here's a collection of ideas to use next time you're reading a Kevin Henke's book to your students.

Kevin Henkes Author Study
Posted by: judy

I am doing Kevin Henkes for my Author Study at this time. Several little things that I do is for "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse"----The children each make a purse the size of a 9 by 10 paper. They color it purple and are assigned to draw three things that are small enough to fit in a purse. I let them pick a real button out of a bag to glue on the purse to close it.

For Chrysanthemum they try to find as many words as they can from the letters in the name. For Jessica I hand out pre cut T shirts that they decorate with their names and draw and label something they want others to know about them. I use the black and white pictures in Kitten's first full moon for great writing workshop prompts. Owen is great for the concepts.

Posted by: Rebecca

One of my fav's about a little mouse that loves her name until others make fun of it. We use this to discuss not teasing others and how it just takes one person to make us feel bad about ourselves!

Then I give them a long rectangle, triangle, and circle. They also get diecut letters to make their name.

They draw a self portrait on the circle, their home and family on the triangle, and glue the letters to make their name on the rectangle. Then we use yarn to put it together to make a mobile( circle on top, then the triangle, then rectangle at the bottom). This looks great for Open House hung above their desks!

We also do acrostics with their names by putting words about themselves for each letter, like..........

T rustworthy
E asy to talk to
A ppreciative
C reative
H appy
E ager
R eady to learn

Posted by: Kim D.

Hi, I also teach second grade and used this book on the second day. We also graphed how many letters were in our names, but we took it a step further. I told the kids we were going to count how many letters total were in all our names. I had each child get Unifix cubes equal to the letters in their name, then I had them make as many trains of ten at their tables (4 students) as they could and combine the leftovers. We lined all the sticks of ten on the chalkboard ledge and counted by ten to see how many there were so far. Then I called one student at a time from each table to bring their leftover cubes up. Before I asked the next child up, I asked how many more cubes do I need to make a stick of ten? We ended up with 169 cubes for our class. The kids liked it so much they want to do the same thing with their last names now. Let me know if this is unclear and I'll try to clarify.
Good luck,

Posted by: Gisele

Here's something fun that you can use with this book and throughout the year with new vocabulary. It's a lot of fun. . . assign each letter of the alphabet a monetary amount (post on chart paper)for simplicity's sake a = $1, b= $2, c=$3 right ur to z=$20. Then they can see how much money Chrysanthemum would have to pay to buy each letter of her name

Of course you need calculators and then, they could figure out how much each of their clasmates names would cost. I'll bet they'll ask for BUY MY LETTERS time and time again!

Chrysanthemum Activity
Posted by: camp-n-teach

I did this activity last year with my first graders and they loved it!! We stuck the finished flowers in a piece of florist foam, put it in a flower pot and left it in the window sill all year.

I gave each child a yellow circle so they would all be the same size. They wrote their name in the middle of the circle. Then each child cut out a pink petal for each letter in their name and glued them around the circle. Then, to make the stem, each child got a popsicle stick for every syllable in thier name. They glued them together(or you can tape them). So kids with lots of syllables had taller flowers. Next they glued the flower to the top of the stem and to finish it off each child cut out and attached a green leaf for every vowel letter in thier name. It was so much fun to compare our flowers and discuss the similarites and differences.

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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Posted by: Heather

I have a K/1 class and we just finished a GREAT Kevin Henkes author study. We made a book with a pocket for each story we read. In Lilly's pocket the kids made masks from paper plates and put them on tongue depressor sticks so they could hold them. They used all sorts of things to decorate their masks -- water colors, markers, crayons, feathers, foam shapes, and sparkly pieces. Lilly likes to dress up in costumes and wear different masks, so this is what we did for her. :-) (This sort of links to Chester's Way, also, in that she jumps out with her cat costume on and scares the other boys away.)
Have fun!

I love Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse!
Posted by: Joy

Kevin Henkes books are so fun! Here are just a couple things that I have done or seen others do:

- I put together a story "purse" with a purple purse, cat-eye (movie star sunglasses), 4 quarters, cheese doodles, a nice note, and a mean note to use during the Lilly story ( I got all of this stuff from home or Goodwill

- Make a class name graph after reading Chrysanthemum by writing names in tiled graph paper and organzing them by letter. You can then talk about the graph results and compare the data

- You can make a class book from Wemberly Worried about "I use to worry about ______."

- I made felt cut outs to go with the stories so that the students can retell the stories on a flannel board.

- Do a group writing activity to find reoccuring characters in the many books like Lilly, Wilson, Chester, etc.

- You could buy everyone sunglasses out of those 6 pairs for a buck packs so that you could have "Movie star reading the room" glasses.

Kevin Henkes
Posted by: Nana6

I use the Kevin Henkes books for teaching appropriate behavior and discussing some of the fears first graders might have.

For example, for names you can use Chrysanthemum and do all kinds of name activities. I add each child's name to the word wall and use them as beginning connections for phonics. This word cheese has the same beginning sound as Charles. etc. You can count letters in names and graph the results, How many names have five letters... Or make name banners and have children decorate their banners with things they like favorite animal, food, sport etc.
Which names have one part/syllable or two parts.

Wemberly is a good one for discussing things you might have been worried about. Shelia the Brave is fun. You can find just about every kind of problem a young child might have. My children love these characters- Wendell, Owen, we love them all. You'll spend a lot of time doing things together and practicing procedures and some time doing individual evaluations such as alphabet reconginition, sound letter correspondence, sight words.

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Posted by: shelly 1/2

We're going to read CHRYSANTHUMUM by Kevin Henkes. I have a worksheet from THE MAILBOX '96 issue that has a number of questions about their name. I assign it as 'homework' to be completed with parents. There are questions such as: why did you choose my name? am I named after a relative? famous person? what does my name mean? what other names did you consider? etc. The children can also choose a name for themselves. They may choose their own name. Let them make a desk plate with their new name for the day. You can graph their names according to naming themselves after relatives,athletes, actors, singers, friends, flowers, etc.

Kevin Henkes
Posted by: Lori 2

I think I might start the year with Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. You could discuss friendship and how we should treat our friends kindly by not making fun of each other. You could do a bulletin board with little people cutouts for each of your class with their names on it. Have the children go home and look up the meanings of their names with their parents or share any special stories about their names. (One or two sentences).These could be written on index cards and placed bubble style on the board or could be used as writing practice on their special paper and posted. Henkes has several other books starring his little mice that would make nice read alouds for the rest of the month. Most deal with friendship, school, and siblings so they are very relevant to this age group.

Chester's Way
Posted by: Katy

I'm assuming this is either first or second grade? There definitely could be students who have already "heard" this story but haven't read it on their own or at least not read it and comprehended it at an indep. level. So I would start by asking who has heard this story before. Then say "Today you are going to read this yourself. But when you read it, I want you to focus on this..." (reading for a purpose) Since the theme in Kevin Henkes' books are usually related to friendship and childhood problems, I would focus on that: If there are two friends who are best friends and do everything together and then a new person comes along, how do those friends feel? How does the new person feel? What problems could there be? What are ways you can solve that problem? Has that situation ever happened to you before? What did you do? Did it work? You are going to read about two really good friends, Chester and Wilson and find out what happens when a new friend, Lily, comes along. I want you to think about any problems and solutions there are in this story, if something like that has ever happened to you before, and what ideas you have about it. If there are any tricky words, preview them. Then have them do guided reading like usual, listening in. Perhaps you could have them start a response page when they are done reading that says:
Problem: Solution:
The next time you meet, you could talk about the problems and solutions in the story, having students share from their response pages. Then have them read other Kevin Henke's books that are also at that level and compare them- character studies, venn diagrams, etc. You could ask them to write the character's name and 3 adjectives that describe that character and tell them they need to quote examples from the text that support their ideas. Kevin Henkes has a lot of great books that are connected. Good luck!

kevin henkes
Posted by: Sasha B

I read Chrysanthemum and do all the name activities.

The next day I read Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and we make a Venn diagram to compare the two books. I write the statements ahead of time. I use things like: written by Kevin Henkes, character has a very long name, character got in trouble at school, character plays games with her parents, etc. use my Venn diagram pocket chart and I read each statement. The kids tell me where to put it. It's a quick intro to using a Venn.

Then later in the week I partner the students up and they make a Venn about themselves. We make a list of things to ask each other (likes, dislikes, siblings, etc) and they write it down on a paper copy. Then they can share with the class one thing they have in common and one thing that was different about them.

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kevin henkes
Posted by: BookMuncher

I use kevin henkes at the beginning of the year... I do the Chrysanthemum read aloud and the kids make their names, count the letters, share about their names, and then we put their names in a pocket chart and use them for phonics stuff for about the first 2-3 weeks. I also read Wemberly worried-- I always do something different with it- sometimes we discuss a time we were worried, sometimes I use this to into. journaling, sometimes they draw a picture. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is one of the books I use for teaching the 6 pillars of character-- it's my respect book. We use it to talk about respecting others and taking turns. The rest of the books I save for later in the year when we do a kevin henkes author study-- first graders can't read his books at the beginning of the year, so it works for me to save him till later.

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