Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs


Publication Year: 1978
Author: Judi Barrett
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Grade Level: Grade 1 to Grade 3
Theme: Weather
Skill Taught: Distinguishing between types of precipitation

Summary: The story takes place in a town called Chewandswallow.  Their weather is very unusual, as it only comes three times a day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  This small town's weather is also weird in the fact that its weather doesn't include rain or snow, but instead, hamburgers, orange juice, and mashed potatoes.  After a pancake squashes the school, and meatballs begin damaging houses, the people of the town realize they need to leave because they can't keep up with the repairs and sanitation.  They set out in search of new land in a boat made out of stale bread and eventually find a place to settle.  Now, the people must buy groceries and prepare their food, rather than walking in the streets with a plate and a spoon.

About the Author: Judi Barrett is the author of many popular children's books such as Pickles to Pittsburgh and Never Take a Shark to the Dentist.  Several of her books were illustrated by her former husband Ron Barrett.  She currently resides in Brooklyn and teaches art to kindergarten students.  (http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Judi-Barrett/1103891)     

For the Classroom

Pre-Reading Activity: I would introduce the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to the class by showing the students the cover of the book and then having them make predictions about the book.  For students struggling to come up with an answer, I would point out the fork and spoon in his pocket, the items in his hands, and his facial expression.  A mini group discussion would follow regarding how they would feel if food fell from the sky.

Post-Reading Activity: After completing the book, I would ask the class about our weather and what falls from the sky.  The handout "Types of Precipitation" would be passed out the students as we would go over it as a class.  Naming each of the four precipitations, drawing a picture, and then describing them within each box.


Reflection: This is a great book to use as a way to attract students' attention in order to transition into a weather unit.  Its popularity has grown since the release of the movie in 2009.  I really like children's books that either teach a lesson or express great imagination.  The story is an easy read and one most children will comprehend.  This book encourages young minds to be creative and provides wonderful illustrations, all while telling an enjoyable story that will make children laugh.

Buy this book now at Amazon.com

2 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite books from when I was younger. I love how your post-activity takes the silly weather from the book and transitions students into learning about real weather. This is a great way to get them interested in the topic! Great idea!

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