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Junie B. Jones

Junie B.’s got BIG NEWS! Really BIG NEWS! She’s going on vacation with her parents to   . . . HAWAII ! It is a real Pair-o-Dice! But wait, does she actually have to do school work while she’s on vacation?Because children do not actually like to mix those two items. But Mr. Scary puts Junie B. on assignment for Room One as theirofficial photojournalist. And that’s different. That’s important. Of course, there are grouchy ladies on airplanes, and things that don’t quite fit, not to mention attacking birds and scary eels! Maybe Hawaii isn’t exactly a real Pair-o-Dice after all!

In this guide to Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!, students can learn a few common words in Hawaiian. As Junie B. learns new words (does rambunctious really mean bad?), so will her favorite fans. And because students perform better on standardized tests when they discuss what they’ve read, the questions here help guide their responses to the book and spark classroom interactions. A KWL chart helps students access their prior knowledge before beginning to read, as well as a character web activity. Finally, teach students about similes by using details from the story. Junie B. is a great way to get students to improve their comprehension and still spend time with one of children’s literature’s most beloved characters.

Pre-Reading Activities

Using a show of hands, ask students whether they have ever read a Junie B. Jones book before. Put Junie’s name in the middle of a circle on the blackboard and ask students to help brainstorm everything they remember about these subjects relating to Junie B. (and put these inside connecting circles to create a web): looks like, acts like, talks like, andwhat others think of Junie B. Can they think of any other ways a reader might learn something about a character? How important is it to know what a character is like as you read? Who are your other favorite characters from children’s books?

Show students the cover of the book and read each chapter title aloud to them as well. Then, as a class, create questions that you would like answered by the book and write them on large chart paper and leave it posted in the room. For example, what does “Flinging” mean? Is it a place or something you do? After reading the story (or after each chapter), have students return to the questions and see if they can now answer their questions, and perhaps change their predictions based on their new knowledge.

KWL Hawaiian Style

Have students fill out the “Know” and “Want to Know” sections before you begin reading Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! Haven them finish the “Learned” section after you’re done reading

KWL Hawaii Style

Let’s Talk About It

  • Junie B. is so excited to share her news that it is getting her in hot water with Mr. Scary. Have you ever been so excited you couldn’t sit still? When? How can you be thrilled without making your teacher upset?
  • Junie B. kisses Ollie good-bye and pretends like she is going to miss him. Then she says, “Nice fibs are okay to say, I think. Only I’m not sure of the entire ruling on that.” Do you agree with Junie B.? Is it okay to fib if you are saying something nice? Why or why not?
  • Describe what happens at the airport, and on the plane. What was thrilling for Junie B.? What could she have done without?
  • Can you retell what happened when Junie B. and her parents went snorkeling? Is this an activity you would like to do? Why or why not?
  • Why did the little red bird (called an apapane) get tangled in Junie B.’s hair? Was this the only reason it wasn’t her favorite part of the vacation?

Aloha-ha-ha!

Junie B. learns that aloha means both “hello” and “goodbye” in the Hawaiian language. She also learns these other common words from Hawaii:

  • Mahalo (ma-ha-lo) means “thank you”
  • Ohana (o-ha-na) means “family”
  • Wahine (wa-hee-nay) means “woman”
  • Mano means “shark”
  • Keiki (kay-ee-kee) means both “baby” and “child”

Have students write each word and its pronunciation on the front of index cards. On the back, have them write the definition and draw a picture that will help them remember the meaning. They can practice their new Hawaiian words with a friend.

This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist and children’s author. Visit her Web site to find many guides to children’s books.