One of the story collections from my childhood that I love to read to the students in my classroom is the Clifford series. Emily Elizabeth and Clifford the big red dog are not only memorable, but all of the books have a valuable lesson. Here I am sharing some activities you can do with the story Clifford’s Kitten, one of the newer books in the Clifford series.
However, I also included many other activities you can do with popular Clifford stories you read with your students.
Clifford’s Kitten Activities
- When Emily Elizabeth gets a new kitten for a pet, Clifford has to learn how to deal with his jealous feelings. Discuss what it means to feel jealous, and a time when your students may have had feelings of jealousy.
- Write about how to take care of a kitten (or another pet).
- Make a Venn diagram comparing cats and dogs for pets.
- Read other books about cats, such as Pete the Cat or Splat the Cat.
- Create a cat/kitten art project.
- Make a class graph and have your students vote on their favorite pet.
- Write sentences from the story (or another Clifford story) on sentence strips. Put them in a pocket chart in random order. Work with students to put them in order based on sequence of events. Put in a center for students to repeat activity individually or in groups.
- Display Clifford books from the series on your chalkboard ledge so students can find them easily to read them. I do this with books that I am reading and/or studying for the week (i.e. Henry & Mudge, books about cats or reptiles, etc.).
- Make doghouses out of popsicle sticks, shape tiles, or construction paper shape cut outs.
- Each Clifford story begins in a similar way with the lines “Hi, my name is Emily Elizabeth and this is my dog Clifford.” Make a copy of this phrase: “Hi, my name is (student) and this is my (type of pet) (pet’s name). (Pet’s name) likes _____________.” Glue these onto large sheets of paper, one for each student. Write words on the board as they need help with spelling. Have them draw a picture of their pet or a pet they would like to have if they don’t own one.
- Move like different animals and make their animal sound.
- Read nonfiction books about animals that can be pets or place them in a reading center.
- Play Doggy, Doggy, Where’s your bone? using the words Clifford, Clifford, Where’s your bone?
Clifford, Clifford, wheres your bone?
Somebody stole it from your home.
Guess who? Maybe you!
Clifford the Small Red Puppy
14. Fold a large paper into three sections for each student. After reading Clifford the Small Red Puppy, also read Clifford the Big Red Dog, the original story. Ask students to (1) draw a picture of Clifford as a small puppy, (2) a medium puppy, and (3) as a large puppy.
Clifford’s Good Deeds
15. Have your students listen to the book Clifford’s Good Deeds at your listening center. This is a great book to read in the fall or at the beginning of the year when you are trying to establish classroom community. When students finish listening to the story I typically have them retell the story. In this case, students can make a list of things they can do to help out your school, community or neighborhood.
16. Provide pictures in a pocket chart center that symbolize Clifford’s good deeds: leaf, paint brush, kitten, flat tire, newspaper, man on the ground, house on fire, a medal. Much like the sentence strip activity, your students sequence the pictures to explain the events of the story.
Math & Telling Time
17. Show a blank clock face and discuss as a class how much time it would take Clifford to complete each good deed. Map this out to show actual times throughout the day. Allow 30 min. to an hour for each deed and work as a group to figure out Clifford’s schedule.
18. As a class, brainstorm good deeds that they have seen others do or good deeds they have done. Make a list of these deeds on chart paper to create a list of ideas. You can also have students create a list of good deeds they can do in the classroom to help others. Have them choose one good deed and write about it. When they finish the writing, have them illustrate it. Collect and make into a class book (i.e. Good Deeds in Mrs. _____’s Class)!
Making Text-to-text Connections
19. Compare and Contrast Clifford’s Good Deeds with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This is perfect if you’ve read this Alexander story earlier in the year. In Clifford’s Good Deeds, Clifford was having a bad day. I’ve read this during the first week of school before to discuss with my students how things really aren’t as bad as they seem. Then, we discuss what we can do when we’re having a bad day and feeling terrible.
If you haven’t read this story yet, you can read it with your students and discuss a bad day you have had. Then, have your students tell you about a bad day they have had. Talk about Clifford’s bad day and why it was bad. Compare to what Alexander and Clifford have in common in the stories.
Make a list of the things that were alike in the two texts and the things that were different using a Venn diagram.
20. Label doghouses with bone-shaped nametags with student names. Take a picture of your student lying on the floor with their head in their hands and propped up on their elbows. Have students decorate their houses any way they wish. Title the board with “Teacher’s Pets.”
Clifford’s Kitten on YouTube
21. Follow along with the book Clifford’s Kitten being read on YouTube.
If you’re interested in other activities by popular children’s authors, check out 7+ Engaging Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book Activities and Frog & Toad Activities.