Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow

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SWBAT set purposes for reading while examining the author, illustrator and title.

Big Idea

Shadows are all around us.

Prepare the Learner

10 minutes

Set the stage for reading

This is the eleventh lesson in a series of fifteen.


We all look at the cover together. 

I ask: Do you think this story is real or fantasy?  (fantasy)  

I ask:  How do you know it is fantasy just from looking at the cover? (there are two animals dancing on the cover and real animals don’t dance) 

I then review what we have learned so far about shadows.  (chart answers)  I say: Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow illustrates how we need a light source for shadows.  We will also read about trying to escape from our shadows, just like we did in Bear Shadow

We take a picture walk through the story and closely examine the pictures.  This is a time where we are noticing details in the pictures without discussing them. I prompt: Focus on what is happening in the picture and what it tells you about that part of the story.  

I want the kids to focus on paying close attention to what they see happening in the picture and what it tells them, rather than what they are going to 'say' about the picture.

Interact with the text/concept

45 minutes

Examine the cover


I  show the book to the students.  I point to and read the the title aloud.  I then point to the name of the author and say: The author is Ann Tompert.  Who can tell me what the author does? (writes the words)   Point to the illustrator’s name.  I sayThe illustrator is Lynn Munsinger.  Who can tell me what the illustrator does? (draws the pictures)

I say:  Good readers wonder about what they read.  Our wonderings for this story will be Why did Rabbit want to get rid of his shadow?  What are some things he did to get rid of it?    We keep these in mind as we read.



1st Read-Unencumbered

This first read is, for the most part, unencumbered.  Our goal is to get the gist of the story so that we know what it is about.  However, this is a tough story do read unencumbered with second language learners and here's why!


As we reach each of the vocabulary words (pitched, swished, jerked) I stop and show the vocabulary word/picture card.    I stress how we use the context to uncover word meaning.  We can also use the pictures, so I point out and discuss both pictures in the book and the pictures on the word card.

I also pantomime the words to cement meaning. Pantomime helps the kids to "see" what the word means and by "doing" the word, their memory of it is heightened.

 I say: Show me "pitched." (we pretend to throw or toss something)

 I say: Show me "swished."  (we move our shoulders and waist in a half circle, left and right)  

I say: Show me "jerked."  (we pretend to pul at something or to move our body in one direction quickly)




After we finish the read, I model how to write and draw each of our vocabulary word in their dictionary.

I say: Who can think of something we could draw to show "pitched."  I take student suggestions and model how to draw one of the ideas.  I then say: Watch as I write that word on the line, so that this page shows the word "pitched" and the picture "pitched."


I follow the same format for each of the vocabulary words.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Focus Questions


Each story has focus questions that address different levels of questioning.  After our first read, we revisit these questions to see if we heard any information that might help us answer them.


I ask:  Why did Rabbit want to get rid of his shadow? (because he bet Woodchuck that he could get rid of it)  What are some of the things he did to get rid of it? (Rabbit tried hiding from it, running from it, sweeping it away, having it cut away and soaking it all off) 


If students are struggling, I prompt: Let's look back in the story and see if we can find any pictures or words that help us to answer that question.



Text Dependency in Common Core

Because Common Core stresses text dependency, we bounce back to the text often to either gain information or confirm understanding.  This is something kids will be asked to do throughout the grade levels, so starting in kindergarten is crucial!