Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Activities
Are you looking for a great book that sparks your students’ attention? When it comes to captivating tales, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst is an absolute winner. This classic story takes us through his day, filled with many mishaps and misadventures to which any kid (or adult!) can relate.
But guess what? This isn’t just a story to read and move on. Nope, it’s a golden opportunity for you to get your students engaged, boost their comprehension skills, and get them thinking critically. We’re talking about a week filled with Alexander’s bad day activities.
In this blog post, we’ll dig into all the fantastic activities and lesson plans you can teach with the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. You can engage in essential discussions like empathy, forgiveness, and recovering from a few bad choices.
Grab your book (or nab one from the library) because we’re about to show you how you can make learning totally awesome even on the most “terrible” days!
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Book Summary
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is such a relatable book. It’s all about a boy named Alexander who has a REALLY bad day. We decided to include this book in our close reading lesson plans! Do you want to see how we plan out a week with the story of Alexander with engaging lessons complete with text-dependent questions!
Alexander wakes up, and everything just starts going wrong. He gets gum stuck in his hair, his sweater gets all muddy, he has to eat yucky lima beans for dinner, and he even gets in trouble at school for shouting by mistake.
The book shows how sometimes things don’t go our way, and that’s okay. Even on tough days, there’s still love and people who care about you.
The story shows how it’s okay to feel frustrated when things go wrong but teaches us that bad days don’t last forever. It’s a reminder that tomorrow is a fresh start.
In a nutshell, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a story everyone can relate to. It’s a fun way to learn that bad days happen to everyone and that there’s always a chance for a very good day tomorrow.
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Comprehension Questions and Lessons
Our Engaging Readers lessons are perfect for a whole week and work great for various grade levels. Each day we read or reread the story and ask questions that help strengthen students’ reading comprehension skills. (Psst… reading comprehension starts with listening comprehension) The teacher will do the decoding work, and the students will do the thinking work!
Each of our units comes complete with an instructional guide, so we have done the planning for you.
If you don’t have our units, this blog post will give you an idea of how to form your own lessons around Alexander’s terrible day.
Alexander and the Terrible Visualization Strategy
What is Visualization?
Visualization, often called “making a movie in your mind,” is a reading comprehension strategy that involves creating mental images based on the words in a text. This is a great way to encourage readers to use their imagination to picture the characters, settings, and story elements described in the story. This technique deepens understanding and makes reading a more engaging and personal experience.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is packed with relatable scenarios, from waking up with gum in his hair to facing a series of frustrating challenges. You’re helping your students immerse themselves in Alexander’s world by encouraging them to visualize these situations.
They can see the mishaps unfold, feel his frustration, and even imagine what they would do in his shoes.
- Read until you have reached the moment Alexander is at lunch. Draw what you visualize.
Alexander and the Terrible Noticing Text Details
This story is challenging to retell in order since the sequence of events is more randomly organized. So instead, we focused on having students share the details in the text and not in the text in Alexander’s Bad Day Lesson Plan.
Students complete their own text details.
There is a digital text detail version as well that works great as a Google slide or on an interactive whiteboard.
Alexander and the Terrible Problem and Solution Comprehension Strategy
In this tale, every mishap Alexander has triggers a cascade of bad events. Students grasp the story elements that drive the story by identifying problems (like gum in hair) and helping students identify possible solutions. This strategy deepens comprehension and critical thinking, not only for this story but also for other stories students may read.
Making Connections with Alexander’s Rough Day
Readers can connect the story of Alexander and his experiences to their own lives. The making connections comprehension strategy encourages students to relate emotionally. It also prompts them to link this story with others they’ve read, deepening their understanding of themes and characters.
By intertwining Alexander’s struggles with their own experiences and broader literary contexts, students cultivate empathy, gain insight, and appreciate the multi-dimensional layers of storytelling.
With just about every book, we include a weekly opinion writing prompt. This week, we asked students to write about their favorite part.
Alexander Vocabulary Activities
Each week, we select two text-based vocabulary words to explore these words with the whole group. For this particular activity we used the words:
- synonyms: chided, rebuked
- antonyms: complimented, praised
- synonyms: terrible, horrible, crummy, awful, lousy, ghastly
- antonym: good, great, happy, fortunate, wonderful
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Lesson Plans
You can find all of these activities by clicking:
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Video
In order to do an interactive read aloud, you must have a physical copy of the book. However, since you are spending five days with this book, it always nice to share the reading a bit. A video is a great opportunity to rest your voice and give your students another model of fluency.
So there you have it, teachers – By diving into the imaginative world of visualization, turning cause and effect into your storytelling superpower, and making connections that rival a spider’s web, you’re not just teaching – you’re crafting a whole new kind of classroom magic.
As you embark on this literary adventure, remember that “terrible” days can lead to terrific learning experiences. Who knew that a gum-covered hair mishap could catalyze such excitement? Keep those pages turning, minds churning, and laughter echoing – because every day in your classroom can be a fantastic, wonderful, very good day!
Free Editable Lesson Plan Template
Would you like to download this free lesson plan template? Simply click on the lesson plan image below and you can download this file from my Google Drive… EASY!
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!