Your School is the Best!

By: Maggie Hutchins and Felicita Sala

Everyone’s favourite cockroach is back, and this time he’s going to school! From show-and-tell arts and crafts, this little stowaway can’t wait to try it all…and maybe become the new teachers’ pet!

I had the best time spending time with my family in Queensland. Emma, my granddaughter, is teaching Year 4 in semi-rural school on the Sunshine Coast. There was lots of laughter reading and planning with this book. We hope you enjoy our TOP 20 ideas!                                           

Top 20 Ideas:

  1. Invite the learners to the story and activate prior knowledge by showing an image of a cockroach or the real thing!
  2. Implement a five step prediction tool! Cover the front cover of the book with five different shapes. Each time you remove a shape the readers discuss and form a prediction. The predictions can be discussed, draw or written. Explore how the five predictions changed. After reading the book, confirm or reject your predictions.
  3. Using the clues on the front cover estimate the size of a cockroach. Recreate the scene to support the accuracy of your estimations.
  4. Make your own cockroach from a bead or pom pom. Your cockroach can be used to measure, play hide and seek, act out a scene,  or inspire writing.
  5. Use your own cockroach to explore the comparative size with objects in the classroom or to measure. My pencil is 9 cockroaches in length.
  6. Check out the title page! Use the lunchboxes in your classroom to discover the most popular fruit/ foods in the classroom. Fingers crossed there was not a cockroach!
  7. What are the dimensions of your lunchbox? How will you check your estimations? Order lunch boxes by size.
  8. Venn with a friend – why is our school the best! Provide two paper plates to overlap to create a Venn diagram. (Pages 1 and 2)
  9. On page 3 the boy is packing his show and tell from his backpack. Sort the backpacks in your classroom by colour, size, features. Record the outcomes on your sort.
  10. Pages 3 and 4. Did the boy forget to take the cockroach? What evidence supports your thinking?
  11. What do you see the cockroaches would be saying to each other as they climb into the backpack on page 6? Make a small group and act out the conversation.
  12. Label the illustrations on pages 7 and 8 with nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Create engaging sentences borrowing these words.
  13. What is happening on page 10? What music would you suggest for the cockroach to dance to? Make a playlist!
  14. Learn more about cockroaches. Here is one website we enjoyed reading 
  15. Look closely at the page about BIG lunch. Label man made and natural characteristics. Add more detail! This could include ants, flowers…
  16. Find out which page made the most people laugh.
  17. Create a can, has, and likes chart about one of the characters from the story:
    1. – what can the cockroach do?
    2. – what does the cockroach have?
    3. – what does the cockroach like to do, eat…?
  18. Add onomatopoeia to your favourite pages!
  19. Check out the family portrait on the back cover create your own.
  20. Make text to text connections with the other cockroach adventure – Your Birthday is the Best! Both books can be found here

Have an awesome start to the 2023 school year!

Emma and Andrea