Moo by David LaRochelle

This month’s featured book for The Lemonade Book Club is Moo by David LaRochelle, Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. This amazing and hilarious book shows us that one word can have many different meanings when Cow takes the farmer’s car for a joy ride. Children delight in the fact that they can easily read the story and love playing with the ONE word in this book!

A very important skill to teach new readers is intonation. The easiest description of intonation is how voice and pitch change (rise and fall) as we speak. When readers learn to use intonation, it aides with reading comprehension. Having students play with intonation teaches children how much the meaning of words can change by the way they are pronounced. This is especially important for children learning a second language. An interesting exercise is to repeat the same sentence but with different intonations to see how much the meaning changes. Moo is perfect for setting the stage for this fun activity.

Because Moo is short, it can be read several times. Read it first to the children, modeling the different ways to say moo to create the meaning for story. Read it again while the children choral read it with you. The best part of this book is that, even if children are not readers yet, they can “read” it all by themselves after the first reading.

Activity – Intonation Game

Print and cut apart the sentences and punctuation below. As a group, have children read the sentences, then ask them to say it as many different ways as possible. Below are some ideas.

  • softly (in a whisper)
  • angrily
  • happily
  • pleadingly (you may need to explain this word – like begging when you want dessert)
  • with laughter
  • with sobbing (pretend crying)

Book Club – Moo by David LaRochelle
If the book club members are developmentally ready for punctuation, add the period and exclamation point to demonstrate how the sentence will change in intonation and meaning by changing the punctuation. If the children are not ready for that step, simply practice adding punctuation to the end of the sentences. For Lemonade Book Club Members, print a set of sentences for each child and place them in baggies so they can also play the intonation (and punctuation) game at home.

Moo BookClub Activity (downloadable PDF)

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