Get Your Students Excited to Read and Write with Pigeon!

Do you students adore Pigeon? I know mine do! Well, when I saw that Kohls had Mo Willems’ stuffed animals out as part of their Kohls Cares program I was beyond excited!! I love using Literature Take-Home bags in my classroom and knew I had to make a bag so that my students could take home our beloved Pigeon!

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What I love about take-home bags is that it is a fun way to get students reading and writing at home! I am ALL about doing anything to ignite the passion for a love of reading in my kids and this is just one of the tools I use to get great books and characters into my students hands! My students love taking these bags home and can’t wait until it is their turn!! I also like doing take-home bags surrounding a book that is a part of a series (like Fly Guy, Henry and Mudge, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), because once students get hooked on a book in a series it opens up the door for them to read even more!

Pigeon is a funny bird! I haven’t met a student yet who doesn’t immediately fall in love with this character. Pigeon does, however, have a little bit of a temper and ego. So whenever we read his books or other books with characters that aren’t making good choices, I always teach my students “It’s funny in a book, but not in real life.” It’s so important to have these quick life conversations with our kiddos. Pigeon’s attitude even gets me cracking up, but I don’t want my precious littles to think that losing your temper on the fly is ok or funny. Modeling Pigeon’s behavior is not ok, but it is an opportunity for a great teachable moment! So we often brainstorm ways that Pigeon could have handled his emotions better (take a deep breath, count backwards from 10, talk it out calmly, walk away, etc.).

For the Pigeon Take-Home Literature bag I knew I wanted to put a little sass into it–so it’s called “The Pigeon Needs a Babysitter.” After reading one (or all 6 of the main books) of the Pigeon books, tell your students that Pigeon cannot be left at school along at night because he gets into trouble when he isn’t supervised (remember the bus!). Explain that he needs to have a babysitter and you were wondering if they could help! Be ready for loud screams of joy and major hugs for being the best teacher ever! 🙂

There is a letter from Pigeon that you can also read to your students that explains everything. It will go in the front of the journal so that the families know what to do as well!

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You can decide if you want to send Pigeon home once a week, or every few days, or if he will be your class pet and go home with the Star of the Week. It is totally up to you! If you don’t want to assign when to send him home you can have your students fill out these name tags and pick a name out of the bag each time. I usually pick the first name and then it is the student’s job who had Pigeon to pick out the next name. Insert drum roll please! 🙂

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Along with the stuffed animal and journal, I do like to include at least one of his books in the bag so that families can read it together! Again, any time I can get books into my students hands I take it! But you don’t have to add a book into the bag for it to work.

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When putting the journal together, I put enough journal pages in a 3-prong folder or binder for my whole class plus a few extra. Students love writing in these and then sharing them with the class! Having your students share their time with Pigeon makes the take-home literature bags perfect for listening and speaking skills!

Students will write about their time with Pigeon on the left page and then create their own Pigeon story on the right page. One thing I love about Mo Willems is that he purposefully creates his characters in a simple manner so that children (and teachers!) can easily draw them and create their own stories too! My kids LOVE coming up with their own Pigeon or Elephant and Piggie stories!

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Take-home bags are also a great way to connect home and school. They truly build great memories for them!

If you want to try a Pigeon take-home literature bag, it is really easy to put together!

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Here is what you’ll need:

-“The Pigeon Needs a Babysitter” Literature Take-Home Bag digital download (available in my TPT store)

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-reusable cloth bag (I get mine at Walmart for $0.50)

-Pigeon stuffed animal (Kohls has them right now or you can use the printable included. Amazon carries Pigeon as well–click here.)

-3-prong folder or binder

Pigeon book(s) (optional)
I hope that you and your students enjoy your adventures with Pigeon! If you use this “The Pigeon Needs a Babysitter” take-home literature bag I’d love to hear and see how it went! Be sure to tag me on social media @foxwellforest and use the hashtag #foxwellforest!

Enjoy!
Becca 🙂

 

Note: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission to continue getting great books and resources for teaching.

 

 

 

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