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Link to the teacher's guide for TRAINS DON'T SLEEP is on the Home page.





Do you like visiting your grandma and grandpa? How often do you see each other? What special names do you call them? If you and your grandparents were animals, what animals would you be?


Discussion Questions:


1.What is special about elephant grannies?


2.Do you think chimpanzee nannies really make challah with their grandchildren? Have you ever made challah with your grandmother?


3.What is the "Horah"? Do you know how to do it?


4.What's in the baskets delivered by bow-wowing bubbies? What would you like to get in your Purim packages?


5.What's a mitzvah? Can you think of any mitzvot that you could do?


6.What animal appears on almost every page in the book?


7.Have you ever been to a Seder? What special things did you do during the Seder?


8.When is a shofar blown? Have you ever blown a shofar?


9.What special things have you done with your grandpa?


10.When is Matzah eaten? Have you ever seen it made?


11.What are the groundhogs doing and why are they doing this?


Classroom Projects


Language Arts:


Write an acrostic poem where the first word of each line begins with a letter from the word GRANDPARENTS. The words should describe some trait or characteristic of grandparents. You can use other names for grandparents instead if you prefer.(nanny, granny, savta, papas, grandpas, zayde) Here's an example:


G-reat friends
R-eady for fun
A-rms always open
N-ice and patient
D-elighted to visit
P-erfect pen pals
A-wesome listeners
R-espected relatives
E-ager babysitters
N-ap buddies
T-reat givers

Music and Movement:


Dancing the Horah:

Play the song "Havah Nageelah" and get the children in a circle. Clap out the rhythm of the music. Teach the melody. Show them how to move around the circle, and then in and out to the beat of the music. Try moving slowly at first. Later try the doing the dance faster.




Have children pick out one of the animals in the story and research some Fun Family Facts about that animal. (How are they born –live or in eggs? Who raises the babies? How many babies are born at once? What do they eat? Do family members stay together, or go off on their own? Where do they live? How long do they live?)




Have the children make tissue paper collages (see some of Eric Carl's picture books) featuring animal babies and their grandparents.


Make Purim masks featuring some of the animals from the book. (elephant, chimpanzee, kangaroo, dog, giraffe, rabbit, groundhog, sheep, porcupine, zebra, quail, llama, lizard.



* Read A GRANDMA LIKE YOURS/ A GRANDPA LIKE YOURS. Have each child finish the sentence:
If my grandma/grandpa was an animal he/she would be a __________ because....
My grandma/ grandpa is special because ...


Write down each response and have the children illustrate their own answers. Collate into a class book called "Our Grandparents".

* Read a few poems from the book GRANDPARENT POEMS, compiled by John Micklos, Jr., illustrated by Layne Johnson and published by Boyds Mills Press. Then have each child dictate, or write a poem about their favorite grandparent memory.

* Have the class make cards for their grandparents in honor of Grandparent's Day. Send the cards to their grandparents.

* Have each child chart their family tree. Display them in the classroom.

* For older children: Have them each interview a grandparent and write down the grandparent's
memory describing something that happened to them when they were the same as age the child. Have each child share their stories with the rest of the class. Lead a discussion concerning some of the differences of growing up today versus when their grandparents were young.

This teacher's guide was created by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum