Saturday, November 10, 2012

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Publication Year: 2000
Author: Doreen Cronin
Genre: Fiction
Grade Level: Kindergarten to Grade 2
Theme: Conflict resolutions
Skill Taught: Making predictions, creative thinking

Summary: The story is about Farmer Brown and his cows.  The cows have found an old typewriter in the barn and have typed out a message that they would like electric blankets because the barn is too cold.  Farmer Brown can't believe the cows are able to use the typewriter, and even more stunned when he realizes the cows will go on strike if their demands are not met.  Farmer Brown does not fold into the demands, which leads to the cows going on strike.  The hens join the strike as well, leaving Farmer Brown with no eggs nor milk.  Between the two sides is Duck, who delivers the typed messages back and forth.  The book ends with the cows developing a solution that ultimately makes both sides happy.   

About the Author: Doreen Cronin was born in Queens and latter attended Pennsylvania State University, followed by St. John's University School of law.  Her first book, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type was rejected numerous times, but while she was a practicing attorney, a publishing company accepted her manuscript and wanted to turn it into a book.  The process took five years, but she was committed to never giving up the story that so many people love today.  Doreen has decided to change career and become a full-time children's author.  

For the Classroom

Pre-Reading Activity: I would begin by showing students the cover of the book and reading the title out loud, asking the students for predictions of what the book may be about.  I would then go into a class discussion about the sounds animals make, and ask the questions, "Who has pets?" "How do you know when they want something?" "What would it be like if animals could talk?" "What might they say to us?" I feel children will be unfamiliar with typewriters, so I would try to find one and bring it into class for students to look at and play around with, becoming familiar with the sounds it makes.

Post-Reading Activity: When we have completed the book, I would ask the students what would happen if other animals could type, and what would they ask for.  We would listen to students' thoughts and then they would go back to their seats to write a short story along with an illustration about any animal of their choice and the demands they would have.  

Reflection: Children love animals, and this book's watercolor illustrations compliment the animal characters that children will enjoy reading about.  The story is funny and different, allowing children's imaginations to wonder as they hear the story and see the pictures.  I like how the book incorporates the entire class during a read aloud, suggesting that everyone reads, "Click Clack Moo, Click Clack Moo, Clickety Clack MOO."  This kind of reading keeps students' excitement level high throughout the book, as well as keeps their focus.  Another aspect I liked about the book are the cows' eyes expressions.  

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