knuffle bunny saves the day

Hooray for Mo Willems.  I decided that September would be Mo Willems month in my classroom.  Usually I have this “welcome to school” theme and I read all these books about school, but this summer I admitted to myself that I think all those books are boring, so I went straight to a unit on bugs and an author study on Mr. Willems, my hero.

I also decided to start the Repeated Interactive Read-Aloud method right away.  So I dug out the Knuffle Bunny lesson plan I wrote last year, and on Monday, we read the book for the first time.

The children loved it.  On Wednesday, we did the second reading, and I had the class in the palm of my hand.  They raised their hands (or shouted out, in some cases) often to make comments and answer my questions.

On Thursday, we did the third reading, and Max came back from OT part-way through and exclaimed, “Knuffle Bunny!” with glee and joined us on the carpet as quickly as he could.  My native Spanish speakers (except for Lola, who wasn’t talking to her invisible friend, but wasn’t paying attention to the story, either) followed along and a few of them even raised their hands and whispered a few words in answer to my questions.

My most reliable participants in the discussion were David, Trixie, and one other little boy, but the pattern is being set.  Miss Nelson said she was impressed, and I told her I’m teaching them how to discuss books.

The best moment, however, was when they noticed the man in the park who is wearing Pigeon t-shirt.  “The pigeon!” they shouted, and all was happiness.

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10 thoughts on “knuffle bunny saves the day

  1. I have forwarded the article you attached about RIRA to our Lead Literacy Teacher. For years, I have been fighting tooth and nail to do my read alouds this way, but I keep getting reprimanded and told to use big books and/or picture books only. Ugh!!! I’m hoping maybe now that I have some “ammo” for my method, I may be able to do what I want during read aloud. Thanks!!! 🙂

  2. Awesome story. Awesome teacher! I love to read books to my students and stop at a cliff hanger end of a chapter. They practically jump up to make me continue reading.

  3. Going to print out that article and see how I can fit it in my classroom. Since I only have my classes every other day, I’m not sure how it’ll work. I love the concept of it though.

    I’ve never heard of Knuffle Bunny, so I’ll have to check it out.

  4. Mrs. V., it should work just fine, as you do the readings every two days anyway. Let me know if I can help you out; I can email you my Knuffle Bunny lesson plan!

  5. I love love LOVE Mo Willems too! By far one of my favorite children’s authors. I love that the kids love his books and I always seem to get a chuckle out of them as well…so it’s fun for all of us!!!

    I love your idea of a Willems author study! Sounds like such a fun unit! 🙂

  6. Hi Meg — the link is for an article about Repeated Interactive Read-Alouds in Preschool and Kindergarten. It basically tells you how to write a lesson plan for this kind of read-aloud. I wrote one for myself on Knuffle Bunny. However, if you go to the Mo Willems website you can find a Knuffle Bunny lesson plan package for teachers, which is worth checking out.

    Thanks for the compliment!

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