Teachers love to use SteamPotVille in the classroom. Here are some ideas to get you working with your kids.

Early Ages:

  • Find things in the pictures. The illustrations are complex enough to lend themselves to “I Spy” games. They’re also great for alphabet searches. On the first page, find a coffeepot, a cow, and a camel to represent the letter C. This can be a good visual skills practice book, in class or in a center.
  • One of the repeated themes is animal sounds. Use the book with kindergartners to finish up a lesson on what various animals “say.”

Older Kids: The poetry doesn’t follow the rules of classical poems. Here’s an example verse:

    “The bee said buzz
    and the bird said peep.
    Until last night when you fell asleep,
    You had to find the animals, and strange things you did meet.”
  • Discuss rhyme, meter, scansion, and whether poets have to follow rules or not. Read the book aloud first — why should the little ones have all the fun?
  • The Steampot pressure gauge varies from picture to picture. Chart and graph the changes.
  • There are lots of words and numbers tucked into the illustrations. Find them and see how they fit with the story.
  • The shape of the terrain varies a lot throughout the book. Challenge students to create a map of Steampotville, or use salt dough to recreate its spatial vagaries.
  • The odd visions in the book turn out in the end to be a dream sequence. Use the book as a prompt for students to write about their own dreams.