Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday 8.5

Linking up with Mrs. Jump again for Book Talk Tuesday!

Today I'm going to share a favorite of mine that I used for a fun after school craft activity this year (read about it here scroll down to #5). I also used this book the previous year to teacher character change & point of view... This is probably the cutest book about a goldfish you'll ever find... Not Norman A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett.

In this story, the boy wants nothing more than a cuddly pet for his birthday, but instead he gets a goldfish... Norman.

He decides he is going to trade Norman in for a new pet...

He thinks he might want a dog...

But when that doesn't work out, he continues on, "dealing" with Norman as a pet. As the story goes on, he starts to change his feelings towards Norman... perhaps a fish isn't such a bad pet after all. Find out what happens, does he keep Norman? Does he get a new pet?

Reading Level: 
Guided Reading: I
                  DRA: 16
                Lexile: 460L

Resources for teaching:

Web Resources:
  • Read & Do: Find vocabulary, discussion questions & a craft
  • Teacher's Guide: Review, questions, ideas, and more
  • Author's Page: Here is Kelly Bennett's page including a video of her reading Not Norman aloud
  • Reader's Theater: Scroll down to Not Norman Activities and click Activity Pack link (the other link doesn't work)
Vocabulary: A few words you might want to teach before reading: twitches, gunky, tuba, maestro, proper, practice, glugs

Before Reading:
  • Tell students the main character wants a pet in this story. Ask students to share about their own pet or a pet they would like to have. Why do they like/dislike their pet, what would they like/dislike about a new pet? What responsibilities come with having a pet?

During Reading:
  •  You can use some of these questions while reading, then have students answer the questions in writing after reading. There is a worksheet with sentence frames and without sentence frames.

  •  Keep a T-chart showing ways that the narrator starts to change his feelings about Norman. Students can use this T-chart after reading to describe how the narrator changes.

After Reading:
  • My students LOVED doing the reader's theater version of Not Norman. Find it in the links above.
  • Use the organizer below for students to tell how the main character changes in the story. 
  • Read Not Curtis... Norman's side of the story as told by Kelly Bennett. Ask the students to compare/contrast how Curtis & Norman's feelings are the same or different. After they read the other point of view, have them pick an event where the characters have a different point of view and explain it using this organizer.

 I highly recommend this book even if just for a fun & cute read aloud!

 photo ScreenShot2014-07-01at21525PM_zpsf6ff35a2.png


  1. Great for the pet unit! I'll give this one a try. Thanks for sharing. Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Not Norman would definitely be cute in a pet unit!


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