Activities for Harry The Dirty Dog
As a kindergarten teacher who LOVES great children’s literature, one of my favorite things to do is create a whole day full of activities that involve a very special book. In my classroom we did FUN Fridays, which was perfect for creating enthusiasm and helping my students fall in love with books. It takes a lot of time to plan these special days, but I love doing it and sharing it with others. So, here are some of my favorite activities for Harry the Dirty Dog.
Harry the Dirty Dog
Harry the Dirty Dog is one of the most adorable picture books I’ve ever read. It was written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. This book was originally published in 1956, making it a classic which continues to delight readers young and old. It is on The National Education Association “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” list. The story is about a little dog who loves everything, except baths. He really doesn’t like baths, so he hides the bath brush and runs away. Not to worry, he eventually comes home after a fun filled day of exploring his neighborhood, playing with other dogs and getting really, really dirty. So dirty, that he changes from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. Oh no! How will his owners recognize him? Spoiler alert, it involves a bath. Children love this book! The writing is wonderful, the pictures are adorable, and we have some great activities for Harry the Dirty Dog, so why not spend the whole day with Harry. Make it a FUN Friday with Harry the Dirty Dog.
Reading and Discussing the Book
I love reading to my kids. I gather them on the reading rug. We talk about how to be good listeners and how to respectfully discuss the book. (My class always had partners they could turn and talk to.) It is so much fun listening in on their discussions. Before reading, I suggest adding sticky notes with all the questions and vocabulary you want to stop and talk about during the reading. I like to have a mix of text dependent questions along with questions designed to teach story elements. Here are some of the questions I have my kiddos discuss.
During the reading:
- Why did Harry run away? How do you know?
- How do you think Harry is feeling? Explain your thinking.
- What are some things that Harry did in the middle of the story?
- Why is Harry doing so many tricks for his family?
- Let’s make a prediction. Do you think Harry’s family will recognize him?
After the reading:
- What lesson do you think Harry might have learned? Explain your thinking.
- Would you like to have a dog like Harry? Why or why not?
Harry the Dirty Dog Writing Activities
After reading and discussing the story I have my students do a reading response. This is a writing piece about the book. The writing can be whatever you want. Opinion pieces, descriptive paragraphs, and story elements are some of the things I often focus on for this writing. 4 Kinder Teachers has created some great Story Elements Worksheets just perfect for kindergarten. You can also have your students write about their favorite part or why they liked the book. We have created some FREE Reading Response Worksheets for you to use. Another favorite of mine is having my kids describe the main character. I have my students generate adjectives which I write on the board. They use the adjectives to write a descriptive paragraph about Harry. They can also write short poems using the adjectives. We have some very cute and also FREE Kindergarten Writing Templates that may be just what you need for this writing project. The writing piece will (of course) depend upon the ability of the child you are working with.
Harry the Dirty Dog Crafts for Kids
Your kids will love making this cute little cut and paste dog. It’s so easy, but you have to model it (sometimes step by step) with your kids. All they have to do is cut the corners off of the rectangles and squares, and glue them on. I cut all the rectangles and squares ahead of time, (I’m so grateful for the paper cutter), lay them out with each shape clearly labeled with the number they need. Next, I put my kids in a circle and model how to make Harry. Depending on the kids, sometimes we do it all together. Other times they pick up their supplies and go back to their tables with great enthusiasm.
This paper plate dog is super easy and doesn’t take much time. Do whatever works for you. Kids love making these and taking these crafts home. It helps them remember the story so when their parent asks, “What did you do today?” they have an answer.
Storyline Online Reading by Betty White
Sometime during the day, you are going to want to watch Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog. It is such a delight. Storyline Online is a fantastic resource. They add some (not too much) animation, and their readers are always amazing. I can’t say enough about Storyline Online. In fact, we wrote a blog about it.
Math Activities for Harry the Dirty Dog
If I can incorporate the book into math, I do. It just depends on when I read the book and what we are learning in math at the time. If you read the story early in the school year or if you teach preschool, I suggest you focus on counting and numbers. Make a dog math mat for each of your students (half a sheet of white construction paper with a dog face drawn on it). Give each student buttons or pom poms for the spots. Hold up a number card and have your students put that many spots on the dog. Story problems are another math activity that work great most of the time, because they can be differentiated. Depending on your students’ abilities, you can have them simply draw a picture and write the numbers to match; or draw the picture, add the number sentence and a number bond. Below are a few examples.
- 2 big dogs were playing with 1 little dog. How many dogs were playing together? Draw a picture and write a number sentence with a number bond to match.
- Harry had 5 dog treats. He ate 2. How many dog treats does he have left? Draw a picture and write a number sentence with a number bond to match.
Children love to make their own snacks. I have found that they usually eat what they make. Here are two snacks. One is definitely more of a treat than a snack, but it is a special day. To make the paw print cookies you will need: vanilla wafers, frosting (chocolate or vanilla) depending on which paw print you want to make, melting wafers and chocolate baking chips (opposite color of frosting). Frost the flat side of the cookie and then add one big melting wafer and 4 chocolate chips. Yum!
For the doggie face you will need: 1 rice cake, frosting, 2 vanilla wafers or 2 banana slices, 3 blueberries, ½ a graham cracker broke in two, one raspberry. Use frosting to attach graham crackers for ears, vanilla wafers or banana slices for cheeks, blueberries for eyes and nose, and a raspberry for the tongue. Delicious!
Science Activities for Harry the Dirty Dog
One of the easiest science activities I’ve done with my kids is the soap experiment. You’ve probably done something like this with your kids. Fill a shallow dish with water and sprinkle pepper on top. Either have students watch as you put a drop of dishwashing soap in the bowl (the pepper moves away quickly) or put the dishwashing soap on a student’s finger and have them touch the water. Either works great. Here is a YouTube video which shows the experiment using either pepper or tempera paint. I suggest pepper. Tempera paint can be really messy. This experiment also works with a bar of soap (second video) and it is great for reminding kids why we need to wash our hands with soap.
Harry the Dirty Dog Activities for Preschool
Many of these activities can be used for preschool. I would suggest doing the paper plate craft instead of the cut and paste dog. I would also leave out the reading response writing activity and instead have my students rainbow write the letter H. We have created some great Rainbow Writing pages.
More Fun Activities for Kindergarten
We loved planning our Fridays around great children’s literature, and our students loved it too. They were always exited to learn which book we had chosen and what fun activities we had planned for them. Check out some of our other Fun Friday ideas. We’ve got lots of them, including the Rainbow Fish and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Fun Friday blogs!
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