Smoky Night | Caldecott Book Guided Reading Activities

Smoky Night is a 1994 children’s book by Eve Bunting. It tells the story of a Los Angeles riot and its aftermath through the eyes of a young boy named Daniel. The ongoing fires and looting force neighbors who previously disliked each other to work together to find their cats. In the end, the cats teach their masters how to get along. The book made the list of One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century compiled by the Staff at the School Library Journal. They added the book to the list as paving the way towards the genre of serious picture books. David Diaz’s acrylic, collage-like illustration of the tale earned the book the 1995 Caldecott Medal.

Here is an engaging resource to use when reading and studying the book and it’s topic….

This Reading / Literacy resource offers guided reading questions and student activities that will help students get the most from Eve Bunting’s book, Smoky Night. (1995 Caldecott Medal award winning book illustrated by David Diaz!) During this unit, students will be asked to give opinions, answer factual questions about the story, use critical thinking skills and be creative!

What it includes:

For the Teacher:

  • Suggested Pre-Reading, About the Cover, After Reading and About the Art work questions are provided. These should be teacher directed.
    Guided reading is ‘small-group reading instruction designed to provide differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency’. The small group model allows students to be taught in a way that is intended to be more focused on their specific needs, accelerating their progress. Questions have been designed to help assess students in a variety of ELA skills (see those chosen).

For the Students:

  • Worksheet for students to answer questions from the story
  • Worksheet to produce questions while reading
  • Worksheet to produce questions after finishing the reading
  • 3 art responses
  • Vocabulary – Word Wall / Flash Cards with definitions provided (Suggested use: Have students match definitions and discuss during group)
  • Vocabulary Fill-in-the-blank worksheet
  • 2 extended writing prompts with pages to produce student writing.

All writing pages include dashed and solid lines because this has been designed for 1st -3rd grades. You choose what is best for your students’ needs and abilities!

Lexile Measure: 360L



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