Learning to read is so much more than just learning to decipher the sounds on the page. It’s always good to talk about the books that you have read with your children to make sure they have understood what has happened in the story, and encourage them to think a little deeper.
This week we have been reading “Go to Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard” by Steve Cole.
This book is a funny bedtime story, with a few twists and an unexpected ending. I thought it would be ideal to use with our new Reading Comprehension Cubes to see how much Mr Z had understood from the story and what ideas he had about it.
We were sent a pack of 6 reading comprehension cubes from Learning Resources. These work like dice. You roll and see what question you have landed on, then use that question to help you think a bit more about the story.
Rather than using all of the cubes at once, Mr Z decided to use the red cubes with this book. (It’s his favourite colour)
Here’s what he had to say about Go to Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard:
Q. What background did you bring to the story?
I know about bedtime. Mr R keeps getting out of his bed at bedtime.
Q. Identify any unfamiliar words in the title.
Leopard. Why has it got an O in it?
Q. Who is the author?
Steve Cole & Bruce Ingram (note: actually Bruce Ingram is the illustrator)
Q. What do the pictures tell you?
The babysitter wants them to go to sleep but the children are having a lot of fun.
Q. What does the title tell you about the story?
They are going to release a leopard. She is having to threaten them.
Q. Predict what will happen next in the story.
The robot and plant will have a fight in their bus and eat their arms.
Q. How might this story relate to your life?
My friends do things like this, they told me. Someone stayed up til 6.30am
Q. What questions do you have about the story?
Where did the leopard go after he got on the bus?
Q. What do the pictures on the cover tell you?
It makes you think the leopard is scary
Reading with the cubes was a great way to expand the story for Mr Z. It also made it feel more like a game, as the cubes are so much like dice. He enjoyed this activity and it definitely helped him to think about the story for longer than he otherwise would have.
The cubes are available from Learning resources for a pack of 6 cubes. They are recommended for age 6-12 years, as the answers can be given either simply or more in depth for older children. Mr Z is 5.5 years and I did explain a couple of the questions to him a bit more at his level, but the activity worked really well for him. These would be great prompts too if children wanted to start writing their own book reviews.
I would also definitely recommend the book Go to Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard. It’s not predictable at all and it will provide a lot of laughs at bedtime. It’s best for around age 3-5 years.
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