This post contains affiliate links. I may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.
Pre-reading book discussion questions, comprehension questions, adding details to descriptions, when to use capital letters, exploring vocabulary using the Freyer Model, short writing activities, and spelling the long ‘a’ sound. This is what you can expect in this weeks The Wild Robot literature study guide based on Chapters 1-8.
Welcome to the first of a series of posts that will take your kids on an extraordinary literary adventure.
In this post:
Buckle up, because The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is a delightful roller-coaster of a story that will captivate you and your children.
In my introduction to The Wild Robot Literature Study Guide, I have explained why I think The Wild Robot is a homeschool read aloud must.
The Wild Robot introduces us to Roz, an unconventional robot who finds herself stranded on a deserted island. With a heart full of curiosity and an insatiable desire to understand her new surroundings, Roz sets out on a journey of self-discovery and friendship.
Witnessing Roz’s growth from a machine devoid of emotions to a robot capable of empathy and compassion is a truly heart-warming experience.
Brown effortlessly transports us to this untamed world, creating an immersive experience. One of the book’s true strengths lies in its ability to tackle profound topics in a way that is accessible to readers of all ages.
Themes like the power of community, and the importance of empathy are seamlessly woven into the narrative, providing valuable life lessons without ever feeling preachy.
The Wild Robot is also beautifully complemented by Brown’s whimsical illustrations, which add an extra layer of charm to the story.
Paired with this literature guide, The Wild Robot gives a great opportunity for children to enhance their comprehension skills, enrich their vocabulary, develop their writing, and learn and practice spelling, punctuation and grammar skills in a natural, literature-based way.
This literature guide is specially designed for Year 3 and 4 children to develop language skills naturally.
So, grab your copy of “The Wild Robot,” (Amazon link) and let’s explore this charming tale together!
The units of work are packed with activities. If you do decide to follow along and try to do most of the activities and tasks suggested, know that it covers many of the National Curriculum objectives for Year 3 and 4.
What is really important for you to know though – just because it is in the study guide don’t feel like you have to complete everything.
You know what works best for your busy situation – never feel pressurised to get worksheets, workbooks, textbooks completed. Just try to be intentional (even if its intentionally leaving a parts out because its not what you want to focus on right now).
Have a browse through and chose what you want to do. I think it is more important to keep the story momentum going so be judicious in what you do with your kids. Too much of the worksheets and they might just dread reading the book because of all of the work associated with it!
You might just want to read the chapters and discuss the questions orally. That’s it.
And that’s totally fine.
You might want to just do the copy work. That’s it.
And that’s also totally fine.
You might just want to do the writing activities because you are already using a spelling program you are happy with.
You might want to drop everything else you usually do for English and do all of the activities one week and then do something else entirely different.
Again totally fine.
I have purposely included a variety of activities targeting different aspects of what makes up English. Skills that target reading, comprehension, spelling, grammar, punctuation, handwriting, writing fiction, writing non-fiction.
This way you can pick and choose whatever aspects you want, or don’t want to do.
In the study guide, I have detailed what chapters to read and then each activity usually has a learning objective so you and your child know exactly which skill is being targeted.
It is as straight forward as printing off the worksheets and reading what to do.
However, if some concepts are new, these may have to be taught in more detail or explained and elaborated on further.
In my blog posts, I will also be listing what to expect in each week’s study guide, and elaborating on some concepts to help you use it more effectively. Let me know in the comments if there are ways you think this resource can be improved.
I am very concious of paper use and printing costs, so I have generally not left space to write on the worksheets, so you will need an exercise book or lined paper for your child to complete the activities.
However, when I thought it would be too cumbersome and unnecessarily tortuous on the child to complete the activities on a separate exercise book or paper, I have just gone ahead and left space for children to write directly on the worksheets.
Although we intend to spend with our kids, often this is not possible due to demands of other children, housework, chores, work or other commitments, I have written the printable worksheets in a style that (I hope) is accessible directly by children.
Please note though, due to kids at this age having such a diverse reading and comprehension ability, you might have to read and explain how to complete the activities to your child.
I would really appreciate any feedback on how to make the study guide more accessible and easy to implement in our homeschools.
In my post 5 Ways to Teach Comprehension I touch on why pre-reading questions are great for engaging kids.
Pre-reading questions give children a chance to recall and activate their excising knowledge. Discussing the book also helps create a context for children to link what they read to.
“Our story begins on the ocean, with wind and rain and thunder and lightning and waves. A hurricane roared and raged through the night. And in the middle of the chaos, a cargo ship was sinking
to the ocean floor.” (Chapter 1 page 1)
This extract focuses on how Brown uses lots of details in his descriptions to give the full picture.
The extract is taken from the beginning of the book. In this awesome beginning to the story, the author, Brown, uses lots of detail to hook us into the story.
Explain how Brown has listed all of the things that are present – wind, rain, thunder, lightning, waves. This makes us feel like we are right there in the middle of the raging storm.
After all of that, he reveals that in the middle of it all, a terrible event was happening. What a hook!
The word map that kids will do for this exercise is based on the Freyer Model. I learnt about this model of learning new words only recently. It’s pretty cool to use for exploring new words.
This is based directly on the copywork passage. There is so much benefit in copying great authors writing styles. In this writing task, kids get to imagine a howling wind tearing through their street. They start their description just like Peter Brown did in the extract, then add two more sentences to describe what’s happening.
Encourage them to add details to create a vivid the description. Remind them to check that they have used capital letters where they need to.
One of the difficulties I had in my early years of homeschooling was to judge if I was doing enough, if my kids were ‘behind’ their peers, wondering how my kids work compared with others.
I did come to realise that it wasn’t important at all how other kids were performing, or how much we were doing.
What really mattered is that my kids had opportunities to learn, and that overtime they were making progress compared to themselves.
I say this before I share some example work by children using The Wild Robot study guide because I don’t want it to be a source of stress if your child’s work looks different to what I show.
The reason I have decided to share examples, is that the formal writing element of homeschooling can be done in isolation and it can be really nice for us and our kids to see other children’s work, either to get ideas or to have a discussion of what is good in that piece of work and what can be improved.
In schools children have opportunities to evaluate their own work and their peers work in this way. They call it “What Went Well” (WWW) and “Even Better If” (EBI).
It is in this spirit that I’m sharing example work. As you will be able to see it varies. Some didn’t finish the copywork- that’s fine. Some didn’t copy all of the spellings accurately- that’s also fine. This is because they will have plenty more opportunities to learn and practice and improve.
The comprehension exercise was challenging for some of the kids. Offer as much support as required.
For a couple of the children, I wrote their answers on a scrap piece of paper, and then they copied these out. For one of the children, I started answering for them. I modelled my thought process so they could see how I figured out my response, and they they carried on with the rest themselves. Some children didn’t finish answering all of the questions. As long as all of the kids were thinking and engaged for the time we were doing this task, I was happy.
I hope this helps some of you out!
Please let me know how you find this study guide. Let me know “What went Well” and what would be “Even Better If”!