My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

By Patricia Polacco

Page 1 of 2

Patricia's older brother always gets the best of her. No matter what she tries, Richie can do it better. Patricia finally discovers something that changes her relationship with her rotten redheaded brother.

Enrichment Activities
Books by Patricia Polacco

Enrichment Activities:

Read other Patricia Polacco books

Many of Polacco's books are autobiographical in nature and relate family stories of the author. See our list of Polacco's other books.

Explore families

Bring in pictures of your families or draw portraits of your families. Use tagboard frames and mount the pictures on a bulletin board.

Family Circles

Materials: large paper plates, pencils, rulers, crayons

  • Divide the paper plate into as many wedges as family members in the student's home (or the student may add other extended family members).
  • Write a family member's name on each wedge and several descriptive words about that person.
  • Draw a picture of the family member on each wedge, have students bring in small photos, or cut up larger group photos of family members.
  • Once the Family Circle is complete, students can select a family member and write a short biographical sketch. Keep the sketches short, and try to have students write about each person in his or her circle over a period of time. Be sure they include themselves.
  • Attach the sketches to the paper plates.

  • Use 2 large paper plates for the Family Circles.
  • On the first one make a wedge for each family member's picture or photo.
  • Use second plate on top of the first plate, marking the same wedges as the first.
  • Cut the lines drawn on the second plate so when you lift the flap the picture is revealed.
  • Attach the two plates through the center with yarn or ribbon.
  • Family members' names also go in the middle and names or descriptive words on the liftable flap.


Materials: construction paper stars, hole punch, silver thread, glitter

In the story Patricia makes a wish upon a star, spits twice between her fingers and slaps her chest, just like her grandmother (Bubbie) showed her. Make some wishing stars by cutting out construction paper stars (or use other star material). Have students write their wishes on the back of the stars, then decorate with glitter. Use the activity as a stepping off point to write about what might happen if the wish came true.

Sisters and Brothers

In the story My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother the theme of sibling rivalry is presented. Have students write or draw about an experience with a sibling.
If they do not have siblings, they could interview Mom or Dad or even Grandparents and find a sibling story they are willing to share. The stories can be illustrated by the students and compiled in a Big Book for everyone to enjoy.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Students can fill in the list of "Favorites" for their siblings. And then, they can take the list home and see how accurate they were.

  1. Favorite Food_________________
  2. Favorite TV Show__________________
  3. Favorite Music ___________________
  4. Favorite Store____________________
  5. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor________________
  6. Favorite Book___________________
  7. Favorite Friend__________________

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