The Wild Things Like it Quiet

Brittany Anne Hanie



It takes time and work to become a skilled reader who can comprehend what is read.  When comprehending, it is important that the concept of a story structure is understood.  The reader needs to be able to understand who the characters are, the plot, and the resolution.  After story structure is understood, the reader must know how to visualize what is happening in the story.  It is important that children are taught how to create a mental picture in their head of things going on in the book.  It is also important for children to be able to generate questions and to answer questions about the story which they have read. 



-A copy of “Where the Wild Things Are” (by Maurice Sendak, pub. Harper Collins, © 1988) for each student


-blank white paper

-Primary paper




1.  “Today we are going to read Where the Wild Things Are.  We are going to read a little bit differently than we normally do.  We are going to practice reading silently instead of aloud.  Reading silently helps us to read faster and to understand the things we read better.  While we read let’s try to paint a picture in our heads.  Let’s practice doing that right now.  I am going to tell you a little bit about Where the Wild Things Are.  The little boy in the story, Max puts on a wolf suit and runs around his house causing mischief.  Because of this he gets sent to bed without his supper.  Everyone close your eyes.  Let’s think about dressing up in a silly costume and running around causing mischief.  Think of how you would feel.  Next, think of how you feel when your mother catches you and gets upset with you.  Think of how you feel when she punishes you by sending you to bed with no supper.  Now everyone open your eyes.  Can everyone remember causing mischief and going to bed without supper?  Do you remember how you felt?  Well, this is kind of like reading silently.  When you read silently you are creating a mental picture in your head of what you are reading.  While you reading siltenly it is very important that you do not disturb others around you.”


2.  “The book we all are going to read silently is Where the Wild Things Are.  While you are reading I want you to try and create a mental picture in your head. If you come across any words that you can’t read, then try to decode those words.  Remember our technique for helping us decode?  We can use our bookmarks or we can use our fingers to help us decode.  Also when we are reading let’s try to ask ourselves questions like: Who are the characters? What is this story about? Let’s try to put ourselves in the book like we did in the field.”


3.  After everyone has read then pass out primary paper, pencils, crayons, and blank paper.  “How was the book?  Did everyone try to picture yourselves in the book?  Now we are going to do a fun activity.  I want you to write down why on your sheet of paper.  Try your hardest to think about who was in the story, what happened in the story, when did it happen, where did it happen, and why all of it happened.  Once you have thought about it, write down why everything happened the way it did in the story.  When you are finished turn your paper over and draw how you pictured the story in your head.  Imagine that you were in the story as well and draw what you see when you close your eyes and think about it. 


4.  When assessing students, I will collect their answers to the why question and their pictures.  Some answers might include:  Because Max was naughty, he got sent to bed without his supper.  Max was so mad when he fell asleep that he dreamt of wild things and a forest growing in his room.  I will be able to see from their work who comprehended the story and who needs more work learning how to comprehend.