The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins has been a popular book used to teach sharing and fractions in elementary school. If you are not familiar with the story, Ma bakes a batch of a dozen cookies to be shared by her two children. However, as they sit down to enjoy the treat, the doorbell begins to ring with friends dropping by. Each time, the cookies must be divided up to share! The ending is quite a surprise!
We have found this book to be an excellent way to reinforce the Initiating Event or “Kick-Off” icon of a story, especially in first grade. All you will need is the book and a “Kick-Off” icon taped to the end of a Popsicle stick, one for each participant.
First, read the story for enjoyment. Then, distribute the Kick-Off sticks and have the children place them on the floor in front of them. As you re-read the story, each time they hear the words “as the doorbell rang,” have the participants hold up the Kick-Off and then place it back on the floor in front of them. This procedure will surely bring a smile to those involved and serves a valuable lesson of relating the text and kick-off to the icon and to the fact that a “Kick-Off” changes that ho-hum day!
This idea may be easily adapted and used with other stories and with writing activities as well! One book comes instantly to mind… Suddenly, written by Colin McNaughtin, is another similar story that would go well with this activity.
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