Classroom Book Activity – How Rocket Learned to Read

book activity

Classroom Book Activities for: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

Story Summary

In this wonderful story about words and reading, a little yellow bird teaches a dog named Rocket the alphabet. Soon he discovers the joy of using letters to make words and reading stories all by himself!

Recommended Ages: Grades 1 – 2

Activity 1

  • Gather the class on the rug to introduce How Rocket Learned to Read. As a whole class do a picture walk of the story. The teacher can model how to do a picture walk or students can volunteer to say what they notice about the pictures.
  • During the picture walk, introduce new vocabulary such as marvel and captivated. Write the new words on chart paper.
  • After the picture walk, read the story to the class.


Activity 2

  • The next day, re-read the book to the whole class.
  • After reading, make a list of some of the sight words that were in the story.
  • Explain to the students that they will be practicing their sight words in a center or with a partner. Use sight word cards and a dog bowl to practice reading words. Words the student can read go into the dog bowl to “feed” the puppy. Students can challenge themselves to see how much they can feed the puppy!


Activity 3

  • At another center, students can practice sight words using Play Doh to make the words.
  • Students could use the pile of words they are still working on, that haven’t made it to the dog bowl yet, for extra practice.


Activity 4

  • Gather the class together to reread How Rocket Learned to Read, one more time.
  • Ask the students to point out words that describe feelings as the teacher reads. Record the words on chart paper. As words are added to the chart, point out that some might be words they learned about the first time the teacher read the book.
  • After reading have a discussion about how Rocket was feeling as he was learning to read. Students can “turn and talk” to peers and then share their thoughts
  • Finally, students will do an interview about learning to read. This can be done in school for students to do with each other, a teacher to do with a student or it can be taken home for parents to interview their children.


Download the Reading Activity worksheet here.

reading activity

Guest Blogger: Melinda Brown, Reading Recovery Teacher at East Lyme Public

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