Book Summary This is a collection of short stories with similar themes involving children inventing imaginary characters or situations to describe or explain events in their lives. “The Sock Gobbler” relates one boy’s attempt to discover just what happens to those missing socks.
The Guided Reading Lesson S Identifying the imaginative, fantasy theme of a story S Exploring an author’s use of descriptive
language S Recognizing a story’s problem Introducing the text
Features of the Book • Theme of imaginative invention
• Each story told in one chapter • Variety of illustrative styles • Stories told from different points of view
Look at the cover of the book with the students. Read the title and explain that this is a collection of stories. – What kind of stories do you think they’ll be? How can you tell? – Do you think there is really such a thing as a sock gobbler? Where might you find it?
• Creative typography • Short passages of text on each page • Descriptive language – slimy, gurgled, draggled, slobbering, sweaty, browny-greeny
Purpose The Sock Gobbler and other stories can be used to introduce and reinforce the following skills:
Discuss the invented monsters and gremlins that they may associate with their households. – Why did you invent that monster? – What do you think really causes that gurgling noise/ makes that squeaky sound in the night?
Now discuss the title of the book again. Do the students want to revise their prediction of what a “sock gobbler” might be? Talk about the frustration of trying to find a pair of clean socks in the laundry.
S identifying the imaginative, fantasy theme
of a story; S exploring an author’s use of descriptive
language; S recognizing a story’s problem; S comparing and contrasting writing styles; S using text as a model for students’ own writing.
Briefly discuss the kinds of words the author might use to describe the creature the students can see on the cover and title page. – What might it sound/look/smell like?
Make a list that can be added to and compared with later findings.
Reading and discussing the text
Ask the students to read the first two pages of “The Sock Gobbler” to themselves. Check their comprehension of the text: – Why does Brad think the sock gobbler eats only one sock? – Why do you think Brad’s mom doesn’t believe him? – What do you suppose she thinks happens to the other socks?
Encourage the students to verbalize the problem described in these first two pages and to find the reference to the solution that Brad proposes. Ask the students to read to the end of the story independently. You could provide a purposesetting question: – What interesting adjectives can we add to our list for the sock gobbler?
They could mark them with a sticky note or write them down when they’ve finished reading.
Revisiting the Text The suggested activities below can be used immediately after the guided reading lesson if appropriate or could be taken as a mini-lesson at a later time. S Comparing and contrasting writing styles
Encourage the students to read the other stories in this thematic collection independently in class or at home. At a later time, the group could discuss the similarities and differences between the authors’ styles and how effective they feel these are. In “The Sock Gobbler,” the author has used a lot of descriptive language. In “The Real World,” the author describes the giant in just a few words. The students could also look at the different illustrative styles and discuss how well they work in the stories. Can they suggest an alternative style for any of the stories? S Using text as a model for students’ own writing
When the students have read this section, record the adjectives they have noted. Check these words against the original predictions they made about the sock gobbler’s appearance. List the words and phrases under the headings “looks like,” “smells like,” and “sounds like.”
Ask the students to read the story “Just One Thing.” When they have finished, they can use the blackline master on page 77 to write their version of the story Mrs. Funnell would tell when she arrived at school on Tuesday in her astronaut suit.
Focus on the imaginative theme of the story:
S Exploring an author’s use of descriptive
– What kind of story is this? (A made-up story: something someone has imagined.) – Could this ever be a true story? Why/why not? – Did Brad really find a sock gobbler?
Ask the students to give reasons for their answers. To finish the lesson, you could read the poem on page 12 together. It deals in a lighthearted way with the problem that Brad faces in the story.
language List the words gurgling, gobbling, grimy, draggled, slimy, and SCHLOP as well as other descriptive words the students have noted or found interesting. Beside each word, write what the students think it means. Discuss the root word, where appropriate, and ask them to suggest how these words might be used in a sentence. Look at the word SCHLOP as an example of onomatopoeia. Ask the students to close their eyes and imagine what kind of action goes with that sound. – What does it make you think of? Is it a real word? Why is it there?
Brainstorm other words that sound like the noise they are describing. (plop, drip, snap, click)