by Barbara Abercrombie, illustrated by Mark Graham
My free PDF work page and answer key: Charlie-Anderson-free-work-and-writing-pages
*Note: the writing frames with differentiation may be used without the story but it would be much nicer to have the book on hand. The sequencing work page and key requires a reading of the actual book, which is available in most libraries. Reading Level K
The story of Charlie Anderson is one many teachers read to students to gently address the situation of joint custody for some children, as this cat has two families. The book says nothing about joint custody and is about the child’s view of living arrangements after divorce. It is the story of how a cat who has had one longtime family picks another family and begins living with both. Before the story begins, the cat lives with a couple who think the cat hunts by night. Soon, the other family is caring for the cat at night and assumes it goes into the woods during the day because it is a country cat. Therefore a sequencing work page is a natural fit for this book. An answer key is provided in the 17 page PDF.
This story is good for the reading strategy of asking questions as so many questions arise during readings. The questions could be listed on a chart, and as the story is reread, students could write or think of answers to the questions. Students will need an adult to scaffold or even provide some guidance for a few of the questions. A re-reading or two may be necessary for the children to understand the ideas in the story. The next image is a sample of one of the open-ended writing pages. Teachers may select which pages to print (and in what amounts) to provide classroom differentiation.
What is interesting is that the cat picks a second family, and also the two girls in the night family (Elizabeth and Sarah) have two families. The girls go to the city on weekends and spend the week in the country. They are not allowed to take the cat to the city.
What would have happened if they had tried to take it to the city? Do the children think the story would have turned out differently? Would the cat have liked it, or would it have missed the day family?
This book makes for a great discussion.
Happy reading, Carolyn