Snoozefest is a music festival unlike any other--the goal of the bands is to lull the crowd to sleep. It's a perfect fit for Snuggleford Cuddlebun, a sloth and sleeper extraordinaire! Join Snuggleford as she explores and yes, naps, her way through Snoozefest. Blankets and pillows required!
This text is rich with creative names and puns that will delight kids and adults alike
Book may be an excellent choice for evening/bedtime story family library event
Author: Samantha BergerIllustrator: Kristyna LittenPublication year: 2015Publisher: Dial Books ISBN: 978-0803740464Number of pages: 40 NAAEE: Strand 2: Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems Find At Your Library
Sloths (Animals That Live in the Rain Forest)
Sloths are unique and fascinating creatures. This book introduces readers to sloth basics, and how these unusual animals experience life upside-down. Includes color photographs throughout, as well as a table of contents, glossary, and index.
Students may enjoy other books in the Animals That Live in the Rain Forest series, including texts featuring monkeys, jaguars, and snakes
This book and others in the series are also available in English/Spanish versions
Author: Julie GuidoneIllustrator: n/aPublication year: 2009Publisher: Weekly Reader/Gareth Stevens Pub ISBN: 978-1433901089Number of pages: 24 NAAEE: Strand 2: Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems Find At Your Library
Topic: sloths, rainforest, wordplay, puns Age: Primary (K-3) Active Learning Strategy: Vocabulary Building
Type: Whole class/small group/individual exercise
Title: What's in a Name?
Learning Objectives: The student will:
Identify and interpret creative names and puns from a literary text
Engage in wordplay to create and share their very own creative names and puns
In this activity, students will identify creative names and puns from the book Snoozefest, and link them to their broader meanings. Then, students will select an animal and develop some creative names and puns of their own related to it.
Copies of Snoozefest and Sloths (Animals That Live in the Rainforest)
Paper and pencil for each student
Students will read Sloths (Animals That Live in the Rainforest) on their own or in small groups, to get a background on sloths from an informational text
Part of what makes Snoozefest fun to read are the creative names and puns that the author, Samantha Berger, has woven into the story. Berger has named characters and bands based on words related to sleep to maintain the theme throughout the book. She has also used puns, which are a play on words, and can make for a humorous experience. Puns consist of words that have more than one meaning, or words that sound alike but have different meanings. Learning to name things creatively and make puns helps build our vocabularies!
The librarian/educator will create a simple two column chart on the whiteboard, and label the first column "Name or pun" and the second column "Meaning."
The librarian/educator will flip through Snoozefest and identify a few names or puns to model the process of filling out the chart. The main character's name "Snuggleford Cuddlebun" could be the first entry, indicating that both "snuggle" and "cuddle" relate to sleep. A pun example is the word "naptacular." For this example, the librarian/educator will write "sounds like 'spectacular,' but this is an amazing event about naps" in the "meaning" column.
The librarian/educator will ask students to flip through their copies of Snoozefest and identify more creative names and puns. These names/puns and their meanings will be added to the group chart to build understanding.
Next, the librarian/educator will create a new chart on the whiteboard, again with 2 columns. The column on the left will be labeled "base words," the column on the right will be labeled "names or puns."
The librarian/educator will select an animal to use as an example, such as a dog. "Dog" will be written on the top of the chart. The librarian/educator will seek input from the group for words that relate to dogs. This brainstorming session should yield lots of words--for example "bark," "woof," "paws," "wag," "sniff," etc. These words will be written in the left column, and will form the base of our puns or creative names.
Now, the librarian/educator will seek input from the students for these creative names or puns. It might help to think of a context, such as famous names. Examples may include "Charles Bark-lee," "Brad Pittbull," or "Bark Obama." Other names might just be silly, such as "Oodles of Poodles" or "Snoopy McBeagle." It's okay if the names don't make a lot of sense--the point is to play with words. These names and puns will be written in the column on the right side.
Now that students have had some practice playing with words and names as a group, it's time for them to try it for themselves. They will create their own version of the two-column chart on their papers. Next, they will think of a favorite animal they would like to use as their subject for names/puns, and write this on the top of the chart. Students may choose pets or exotic animals.
Just as the class did together, students will brainstorm words that relate to their chosen animals, and write these on their charts. They will then come up with creative names or puns, and enter these on their charts as well. This can either be done individually or in small groups to bounce ideas off one another.
Once students have had a chance to come up with their own lists of creative names or puns, the librarian/educator will ask for volunteers to share their chosen animal and a few of their names or puns with the group.
The librarian/educator will facilitate a follow up discussion. Questions may include:
How do silly names and puns add to the story in Snoozefest?
Was it easy or hard to come up with silly names and puns on your own? How might this go if you were writing a story?
Of all the silly names and puns you've heard today, between Snoozefest and the work done by you and your classmates, which is your favorite?
Notes about this strategy:
This wordplay activity is a great way for students to have fun with words and build their vocabularies. A fun extension activity may be to have students create stories with their silly names/puns, individually or in small groups.
Dr. Arnone is a proponent of libraries helping to serve their communities with programming about their local environments. She has taught "Environmental Programming with Libraries" and "Literacy, Inquiry and Nature for Libraries" at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. She is a certified environmental educator in the state of North Carolina.