The book Dangerous! by Tim Warnes is such a fun read aloud! It is an excellent text for teaching a love of words and friendship. It begins, “Mole loved labelling things. All sorts of things. Anything really. Naming things was what Mole liked best.” Cute illustrations accompany this text with labels like moss, anthill, poop, pebble, caterpillar, and frog.
One day he finds a mysterious object and begins to identify it – bumpy, lumpy, peculiar, mysterious, gigantic. When the mysterious object almost wakes up with a big yawn and exposes its large teeth, Mole adds a new label – dangerous. He then tries to sneak away, but the mysterious creature wakes up and gobbles up all the labels. Mole angrily stomps away in disgust at his labels being devoured, but the lumpy, bumpy thing follows. When Mole insults the lumpy, bumpy thing after more labels are eaten, the lumpy bumpy thing puts on his own label – sorry. And Mole has a new one to add too – friend. And on the inside of the end cover there are a bunch of new labels Mole has given his friend – persistent, harmless, forgiving, beautiful, precious.
This book is an excellent motivator for activities like a word wall or labeling the room. How fun would it be to switch classrooms with another class and label each other’s rooms?
Also, it is great for a discussion on making friends. The first labels Mole gave the mystery creature all had to do with appearance (warty, heavy, spiky, slimy), but in the end the labels focus on inside characteristics (determined, funny, kind, safe.)
I have created a free pdf download of 6 images of animals that will likely be strange things to your students. Have the students create labels to describe each animal. This could also be extended into creating narratives or informational texts about the interesting animals.