• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

Suggested Activity

There is really only one suggestion. Love That Dog is a shorter book, which can be read in a single sitting, and should not be stretched out for more than two weeks. It is recommended that it be undertaken during National Poetry Month (April) when most schools are already exploring poetry units. It is only natrual then that Love That Dog can provide a jumping off point to explore poetry, especially as poetry is not only the subject and form of Love That Dog, but also because convincing a child who does not think he likes poetry to come to appreciate it is in fact the subject and story of Love That Dog.

So, students can be invited and encouraged to read more poetry, to write their own poetry, and to illlustrate poems. Many students take to the poems written in the form of objects presented in Love That Dog. (There is an example, “The Apple,” by S.C. Rigg, at the back of the book.) They might be asked to read more poems like this and they will need little encouragement to begin writing their own.

The poems selected by Sharon Creech might provide an entree to explore some of the poets used by Miss Stretchberry in the story: William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Walter Dean Meyers. These are authors who many teachers are already probably using in poetry units. But it may be that seeing them in the alternate context of Love That Dog increases interest anew.

Teachers may also be able to use Miss Stretchberry’s method of taking students’ simple prose-like statements and observations, and turning them into poetry. This is the method of Love That Dog and it should be inspirational to many students for interested teachers.

Finally, students will need little encouragement to make illustrations of poems that spark their imagination: poems from Love That Dog; poems exposed by their teachers; or poems of their very own composition.

There are no rules or limits.

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