Over in the Meadow illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats


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Summary of the Story

In a classic Appalachian counting rhyme, we visit a mother turtle, a mother fish, a mother bluebird, a mother muskrat, a mother honeybee, a mother crow, a mother cricket, a mother lizard, a mother frog, and a mother firefly. Each mother implores her babies to do what they do best: dig, swim, sing, dive, buzz, caw, chirp, bask, croak, and shine.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to the words Over in the Meadow as you say them. Repeat the title with the child.
  • Point to the pictures on the cover. Ask: What do you see? (Point out the three bluebirds in the tree.) What are they doing? (They are singing.)

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the rhyme, moving your finger under the words as you read. Give the child plenty of time to look at the pictures. Use your voice to highlight what the mother and baby animals say. The child may want to join you in this.

Reading the Book Again and Again

  • Reread Over in the Meadow. Emphasize the words that rhyme and invite the child to fill them in as you reread. Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture?
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What is this animal? (This is a turtle.) 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 the child brings up, too.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Building Literacy

  • Use the words and the pictures to start the child talking about animals, the sounds they make, and where they live.


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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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