A Summery Saturday Morning by Margaret Mahy


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Summary of the Story

A woman, four children, and two dogs take a walk down the path to the beach. Along the way the dogs chase a cat, a boy on a bike, and seven geese. The woman and the children run to catch the dogs and get stuck in the mud. The geese chase the people and the dogs back up the path.

Introducing the Story

  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to each word as you say it. Repeat the title with the child, emphasizing the "s" sound in summery and Saturday.
  • Point to the picture on the cover. Say: Let's count the people together. Let's count the dogs together. All the people and the dogs are going to take a walk down to the ocean.

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Notice that the story is in rhyme. As you read the rhyme, point to the words as you read. The child might want to join in saying the repeated phrases on each page with you.
  • Give the child plenty of time to look at the pictures.

Reading the Book Again and Again
  • Each time you read A Summery Saturday Morning, leave more of the "reading" or retelling to the child. Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture? What are the dogs doing?
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What is the little boy blowing? (He is blowing a horn.) Which is the black dog? Which is the white dog? Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book. Good words to ask about are listed in the vocabulary section below. Be sure to talk about objects and actions your child brings up, too.

Building Literacy

  • Use the story and the pictures to get the child talking about what he or she sees on a walk. You might take a walk with your child and talk about what you see.



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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!


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