Lesson 5: The Raft


Activity 1: Who Is Telling the Story?

Materials: blank paper, picture books
Explain to your child that sometimes the author tells the story, but at other times the author has a character tell his or her own story in a book.

Discuss how the wording of this story is different from Wemberly and Chrysanthemum's stories. The boy in this story is telling the story himself. Ask your child to look at What Do You Do With a Problem? and see if the person telling the story is the same or different from the person telling the story in The Raft. Discuss that in both stories the boy is telling his own story.

Encourage your child to select two sentences containing the word "I" from the pages read today in The Raft. She can copy the sentences on blank paper and underline the word "I" whenever it occurs.

Have your child look through the pages of other picture books. Encourage her to find two stories where the character tells his or her own story.

Activity 2: Vocabulary

For this vocabulary activity, your child will read each sentence on the "Vocabulary" page and try to use clues in the text to guess which definition matches each word. Understanding the definitions of the words will aid in her understanding of the story.

Answer Key:
  • I don't like cornbread, I mumbled. (D -- talked in a way that made it hard to understand what was said)
  • Three of the walls were cluttered with sketches and stuffed fish and charts of the river. (F -- when something is filled with things and seems overcrowded)
  • A flock of bird was moving toward me along the river. (A -- a number of bird traveling together)
  • All the while, birds flew over my head, every now and then swooping down the raft. (B -- moving rapidly downward through the air)
  • I pushed the raft into the reeds then tied it to the dock so it wouldn't drift away. (E -- to be carried slowly away by water)
  • Near a clump of cattails, I startled an otter family. (C -- surprised or alarmed a person or animal)

Activity 3: My Own Raft

Materials: glue or glue gun, popsicle sticks
Glue popsicle sticks together to make a raft. Lay several sticks next to each other, and then lay two sticks vertically across the other sticks. Glue the top sticks to the bottom sticks. Use a glue gun if you have it. Tomorrow, the glue should be dry, and your child will decorate the raft.
Raft Craft Graphic