Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Written by
Judith Viorst

Illustrated by
Ray Cruz

Page created by Kayla Racklyeft and Stephanie Wisser
Concordia University Wisconsin

Anticipation: Activity 1
WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading. -- Comprehend reading by using strategies such as activating prior knowledge, establishing purpose, self-correcting and self-monitoring, rereading, making predictions, finding context clues, developing visual images, applying knowledge of text structures, and adjusting reading rate according to purpose and difficulty...

Below is a Voicethread used to make predictions about the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" based on what they see on the cover with the picture and title. There are numerous questions, and the students must think about their responses. Questions consist of predicting based on the cover of the story, relating to the students’ own bad days and how they felt, looking at how Alexander feels on the cover, and later asking if they think those feelings may change by the end of the book. They will then respond to the Voicethread by either recording, typing, or writing responses. Students can later revisit the Voicethread after they have read the story, to see if their predictions were true or if the story was different.

Anticipation: Activity 2
WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: D.4.1 Develop their vocabulary of words, phrases, and idioms as a means of improving communication.
Below is Quizlet for vocabulary practice. There are electronic flash cards created for the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". The students can study individually or with a partner to prepare for the vocabulary quiz either at home or at school. There are numerous games that the students can play and practice their vocabulary. Students can also print off the flash cards if needed. There are six words that have already been chosen from the text, but the teacher can add more words as well.

Alexander- Vocabulary

Building Knowledge: Activity 1

A.4.2 Read, interpret, and critically analyze literature. -- Summarize ideas drawn from stories, interpreting events and ideas, and connecting different works to each other and to real-life experiences…

While reading the story or right after the story is finished, the students will create a mind-map showing connections from text to text, text to self, text to world, and text to other texts. The mind-maps are created on the Mindmeister program online (shown below). Mind-maps can also be printed out if needed. The text to text will be examples of Alexander’s bad day. The text to self will show examples of their own bad day. Text to world will be discussed as a group showing examples such as September 11th. Text to other texts will be books that they may have read or that they have in the classroom to read such as "Don't Laugh at Me" by Steven Seskin. Based on the learner, fast learners can also have an extension of adding to their mind-map by making several extensions off of each main connection, whereas other students will have a less in-depth mind-map.

Building Knowledge: Activity 2

WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.2 Read, interpre, and critically analyze literature; A.4.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading.

Students will create a Character Analysis chart based on Alexander in the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". The chart is based on the main character, Alexander who makes several actions throughout the book that lead to his own character traits. The students will find the action based on Alexander’s own thinking, conversations with other characters, or by actions that he did. Inferences will be made by showing his character traits based on those actions. Students must go back into the story to further their thinking by including the example and page number in the Writing View of the Kidspiration program.


Consolidation: Activity 1

WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.2 Read, interpret, and critically analyze literature. - Recognize and recall elements and details of story structure, such as sequence of events, character, plot, and setting, in order to reflect on meaning.

After reading “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day", the students will begin to create their own Storyboards using the program Kidspiration. The teacher must explain the components of characters, settings, happenings, and big ideas to the students prior to beginning the Storyboard. It may be helpful for the teacher to have a model that has been started. The students will start with the main characters of the story such as Alexander, his mother, his brothers, etc. Next, the students will state the setting of the story of which it takes place home, school, etc. Students can then look back into the story to fill out the happenings that they want to write about. Finally, the students will come up with one ‘big idea’ from the story for each box.storyboard.bmp

Consolidation: Activity 2
WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: B.4.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Writing a postcard/letter to Alexander is a great way to begin to explain how to write a friendly letter. This activity is done through Kidspiration in which the students can make the front of their postcards unique by using graphics from the program. Students will use Kidspiration and create their own postcards/letters to Alexander with advice on how he could stop some of his problems in order for him to have a better day. Students will also add their own experience of a bad day, or something else interesting to add to the letter. At this time the teacher will model how to write a letter, and the specific components that these students must have in their letters. The students will complete their letters with drafting, revising, and editing. The teacher can have the students pair up to edit letters as well. Lastly, students should be given time to share their letters with the class.