Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp by Denise Fleming
June 8, 2009 in Creative Writing activities, Elementary Educators, Fleming, Denise, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing Tags: Buster books, Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp, creative writing ideas, Denise Fleming, picture books, reading skills, using context clues
Reviewed by Margo Dill, www.margodill.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Picture book for prekindergartners through second graders
*Dog as main character
*Rating: Denise Fleming’s second Buster book is so creative, and many children will be able to relate to Buster’s fears when he goes to Cowboy Camp.
Short, short summary: In Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp, Brown Shoes (which is the name Buster gives his owner) has to go out of town and take Buster to Cowboy Camp. Buster is scared and doesn’t want to sleep away from home. But then he meets Red Boots, and Cowboy Camp doesn’t seem so bad. There are other dogs, art projects, food, and play time. Next time Brown Shoes has to go out of town, I’m sure Buster will want to go back to Cowboy Camp!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Your students can have fun making their own version of a Buster book with this creative writing activity. First, ask students to describe themselves and/or their family members by their favorite pair of shoes as Denise Fleming does with Buster’s owner, Brown Shoes. So, some girls in your class may be Pink Ballet Shoes, or some boys may be Light-up Sneakers. For younger students, they can draw a picture or write one sentence about Buster and themselves such as: Pink Ballet Slippers played catch with Buster. Older students can write an entire short story about themselves (described as their shoes) and Buster.
2. Your students or your children will probably really relate to Buster and his feelings of sleeping away at home. Use Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp to start a discussion with students about some of their fears or insecurities. Have their parents ever gone on a trip and left them with their grandparents? Did they feel scared? How did the grandparents make them feel better? Did they do special activities like Buster did?
3. Some of the cowboy terms may not be familiar to your students. You can do a context clues lesson with this book. For example, can your students or your child figure out what “hit the hay” means from the context of the story? (The illustrations should help, too.) On a piece of paper or chart paper, make a cowboy dictionary of terms from Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp, and let your students come up with the definitions using context clues.