Magic Tree House
Junie B. Jones
Something very wonderful is happening to Junie B. Jones. And it’s called—hurray, hurray!—she’s getting to be a professional lunch lady! And that means hanging out with Mrs. Gutzman in the cafeteria. And standing behind the counter. And even wearing a real actual hair net! Who knows? Pretty soon she could be the boss of the whole entire lunch operation!
In this guide, Junie B.’s baby bird lunch box in Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch transforms young readers into young birdwatchers. A science lesson acquaints students with many facts about our feathered friends and leads to further learning activities in art, music, and language arts. A companion printable activity sheet sharpens thinking and expands vocabulary in a fun word game.
Using a show of hands, ask your students how many of them bring their lunch to school and how many buy their lunch in school. Ask the students who bring lunch what they carry it in (paper bag, lunch box, backpack). Tell them that Junie B. is so thrilled with her new lunch box that she can’t take her eyes off it. Have them guess what might be on it, offering hints when necessary. For example, “It came from a nature store” or “It shows certain kinds of animal babies.” Once they “guess” the answer, ask your class: “What makes a bird a bird?” Identifying characteristics such as feathers, beaks, feet, and wings and what functions or purposes each serves. Then ask about what birds they know or have heard about in particular. Have them share some of their favorite bird stories.
Junie B., the “B” Is for “Birdwatcher”
In Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch , Junie B. feels happy inside every time she looks at her new lunch box with pictures of baby birds on it. Imagine how much happier she will be when she learns that her lunch box shows just a few of the 8,600 species of birds in the world today!
Have each student create his/her own Official Junie B. Birdwatcher Badge, cutting out a bird silhouette on construction paper and decorating with crayons, feathers, and other art materials of choice. Explaining the importance of quiet and gentle movement in observing birds, prepare your class for a series of short Bird Watcher Field Trips around your school or neighborhood. Ask students what birds they think they may encounter and where they might find them.
Upon return to the classroom, have each student develop a guide called My Neighborhood Field Guide to Birds. Students may draw a picture of each bird observed, listing the species name and location found, along with physical descriptions such as size, color patterns, shape, and voice. Then, using Internet and other library resources, assist students in learning more about each of the birds in their guide, including feeding habits, nesting/nurturing behaviors, etc. Students may then extend their research to birds, such as eagles, owls, woodpeckers, and parrots, found in other habitat and world areas and prepare a report on “My Favorite Bird.”
Conclude activities by sharing folktales from different cultures featuring bird characters ( The Nightingale, Raven, The Seven Swans ) and through a “Feathered Friends Sing-along” that includes familiar tunes such as “Robin in the Rain,” “Six Little Ducks,” “Bye-Bye Blackbird.”
Build Character with Junie B.
In Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch , Junie B. take on a job in the school cafeteria. As her dad points out, “a helper makes things easier.” Discuss with the class Junie B.’s responsibilities with helping Mrs. Gutzman. Ask students to share roles they take on that show they are responsible.
Check out the complete Build Character with Junie B. Educational Activity Kit
Rosemary B. Stimola, Ph.D., serves as educational and editorial consultant to publishers of children’s books.