After the Fall Activities and Lesson plans
Like many of you, I fell in love with the book After the Fall by Dan Santat the first time I saw it. I knew this would be the perfect book to use in the classroom.
In this blog post, you will find fun activities and ideas for week-long lesson plans to strengthen reading comprehension skills.
After the Fall Book Summary
The book, After the Fall continues the story of how Humpty Dumpty got back up, but this time from the egg’s perspective. This picture book is about determination, embracing a growth mindset, perseverance, and transformation.
Following Humpty Dumpty’s fall from the top of the wall, he is carefully reassembled at King’s Men’s Hospital. Despite having physically healed from the fall, some of his wounds remained. Humpty experiences anxiety and a gripping fear of heights, rendering him unable to enjoy his favorite pastime of bird watching from his precious vantage point on the top of the wall.
Then, on one fateful day, Humpty gazes up and sees a paper airplane soaring above him. This sparked an idea. With persistent effort, he makes his own flying creation. Despite numerous unsuccessful attempts, he eventually constructed his unique paper plane.
When he tests it out, it lands on the dreaded wall.
Humpty Dumpty summons his courage and determination. Our main character faces his fears and climbs back up the wall. All the while saying, “I didn’t look up. I didn’t look down. I just kept climbing. One step at a time… until I was no longer afraid.” As he stands triumphantly on top of the wall, his eggshell cracks. Humpty Dumpty is transformed into a bird that was destined to fly.
After the Fall Activities and Lesson Ideas – Reading Comprehension
In our, Engaging Readers units, students spend an entire week with a great book. We focus on one text per week for an interactive read-aloud, and After the Fall is the perfect book. Taking time with a read-aloud allows students to slow down their thinking and examine the meaning of the text in different ways.
During this time, the teacher will read After the Fall to the class and do the decoding work while the students are asked to do the comprehension work. We offer discussion questions to guide students thinking in various ways.
These discussion and writing prompts are a great way to focus the students’ partner chats. Plus, this wonderful book is such a great way for your whole group to discuss a growth mindset!
After the Fall – Making Predictions
Each day we will read the book for a different purpose. Making predictions is one of the first book activities we do with the book, After the Fall.
The teacher will read to this page and pause. Then students are given the discussion prompt:
- What do you think will happen next?
Students will first discuss their predictions with their partner (great oral language experience.) You may have students also respond in writing by either drawing a picture, writing words, or both. This is one of the graphic organizers included in our Engaging Readers.
Retelling the Story of After the Fall
We also know that young students need a lot of practice retelling the story and including text details. Each week, we practice telling the story in sequential order.
Using the story cards is an engaging way to help organize our thinking. It acts as a graphic organizer for students. Sequencing the story is done as a whole group activity, with students discussing the text details and events in After the Fall with their partners.
After the Fall Craft Activity
Students complete a fun craft. Thenthey can work on their own retelling and add it to the craftivity!
Making Connections with After the Fall
After his great fall, Humpty was afraid to return to his old life of sitting on the wall and enjoying the birds. So we asked students this discussion prompt:
- Sometimes readers make connections when they read. Was there a time when you had to be courageous and do something you didn’t want to do?
After the Fall Cause and Effect Activity
Looking closely at the text to discover the cause and effect is a trick readers use to figure out why events happen in a story. We guide students on how to find specific words that help them figure out why things in the story happen. This cause-and-effect anchor chart is a great way to keep track of our thinking.
This is an example from a first grade classroom.
We also ask students to think and discuss why the author wrote this story. Sidenote: I had the privilege of talking to the author, Dan Santat, during an interview for The Educator Summit in the summer of 2022. He told me (and the conference attendees) that his book was a love letter to his wife. [Insert heart eyes and deep sigh here!]
After the Fall Vocabulary Lesson
Each week, we select two words from our interactive read-aloud. We discuss this word’s definition, synonyms, and antonyms and use the word in a sentence. Then we display this vocabulary chart and encourage students to use these words daily. It also serves as an excellent reminder for teachers so they remember to incorporate the word as well.
After the Fall Activities and Lesson Plans Done for You!
I hope I have given you some ideas to use with the book, After the Fall. If you would like some print and teach lesson plans, we have them done for you. You will find them:
After the Fall Read Aloud Video
For each lesson, we dip back into the book. By the time you get to the end of the week, it is a nice break to have someone else read the book. Videos are a great way to give you a moment AND offer another model of fluency!
Other Activities for the Week
We love using poems and song to start each day. This is a fun one! These students are working on putting the poem in order. They are not quite there yet!
You can find this poem in this set of activities:
You can read more about how we use poetry and song in the classroom by clicking:
Simple Centers for Back to School
Here are few other simple activities for back to school time!
These work really well as center activities at the beginning of the school year.
In these activities, student are matching uppercase and lower case letters.
You can find these activities:
Color Center Activities
We love learning game structures with simple games. Bump is one of our favorites!
You can find these activities here:
More Lesson Plan Ideas
Here are a few more lesson plan ideas that are great from the beginning of the school year.
- Free Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse Activities and Lesson Plans
- Fun Chrysanthemum Book Activities and Lesson Plans – Free File
- The Dot Activities and Lesson Plans (Free File Too!)
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activities-Lesson Plans & Free File
Do you want to see a whole year of lesson plans like this one?
I’ve got you!