Tuesday Tales: Orson Blasts Off by Raul Colon
May 4, 2010 in Colon Raul, Creative Writing activities, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing, Tuesday Tales Tags: books for boys, Orson Blasts Off, Raul Colon, Tuesday Tales
*Picture book, fantasy for preschoolers through second graders
*Young boy as main character
*Rating: Orson Blasts Off by Raul Colon is a great adventure-type picture book that kids will love to read over and over again.
Short, short summary: When Orson’s computer breaks, he doesn’t know what he’ll do to pass the time. He’s already bored! But then his jack-in-the-box, named Weasel (as in Pop Goes the Weasel), talks to him and suggests he goes outside to play in the snow. Of course, Orson can’t believe Weasel can talk or that it’s snowy in July. But when he looks out the window, that’s just what he discovers. This starts Orson’s big adventure through the North Pole, a terrible storm at sea, and outer space–with Weasel as his faithful companion. Raul Colon’s wonderful illustrations paired with his creative story and cute pictures make this a picture book that boys (and girls, too) will love!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Children can choose which setting from the story they like the best such as the North Pole, the sea during the storm, or outer space. Then they draw a picture of themselves, enjoying an adventure like Orson. Depending on the age of the child, ask students to write a sentence or short story about spending a day at this place. They can put Orson and Weasel in their picture and story, too.
2. Have any of your students or your children ever felt like Orson when a favorite toy breaks? Or how about if you lose your electricity? Will they survive without the T.V. or video games? Ask students to tell you about a time when they had to find something else to do just like Orson. You can also ask students which seems more fun–the video games Orson likes to have or the adventures that he went on in his imagination? (Or was it imagination? See #3 below.)
3. Here’s a question for debate: Is this a fantasy story where Orson really goes on these adventures OR is this a story about Orson’s imagination? Ask students what they think and ask them to give reasons to support their answers.