TOPS AND BOTTOMS ACTIVITIES FOR KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens is a CLASSIC read-aloud for every primary classroom. I absolutely love the illustrations in this book! You will find some fun Tops and Bottoms activities that go great with this picture book.
Here is a brief summary of the book Tops and Bottoms.
Bear is wealthy but lazy. So, clever Hare comes up with a clever plan to take a share of that wealth for his family while out tricking the lazy bear. Hare agrees to do the work for the lazy bear and plants different vegetables. Then he gives Bear the choice of the tops or the bottoms of the crops. When Bear selects the tops of the crop, Hare and his family work hard in Bear’s field and plant carrots turnips, and radishes. When Bear selects the bottom half of the crop, Hare starts his hard work again, but this time, he plants lettuce, broccoli, and celery.
The lazy bear gets even angrier. This time Hare agrees to give him the tops AND bottoms of the crop. However, he out-tricks the bear again because he planted corn. At the end of the story, Hare was able to buy back his own land and he never had to work for bear again.
This is a great book to talk about a number of vegetables and how they grow.
Tops and Bottoms Read Aloud Video
This is my favorite video read aloud of Tops and Bottoms.
Tops and Bottoms Book Activities
Our Engaging Readers story book companions are a week-long resource that works for a variety of grade levels. It includes reading comprehension lesson plans, graphic organizers, and activities for the book, Tops and Bottoms. This reading resource gives students the opportunity to practice various reading strategies using quality children’s literature. Throughout the week, students develop reading comprehension skills such as predicting, story retelling, identifying character traits, making inferences, and forming an opinion.
We teach students to take clues from the story in order to make a smart guess about what they think will happen next. In the story, Bear decides he wants both the tops and the bottoms because he is tired of Hare getting the best part of the crops! Students make a prediction on what they think will happen next.
There are also digital student response activities! In the digital version of our Engaging Readers, you will find the activities preloaded to Seesaw and also PowerPoints that can be used in Google or on other digital platforms.
Tops and Bottoms Sequencing Activity
Using retelling picture cards is such an important part of reading comprehension. Some students may initially have a hard time holding onto the events of the story. So picture sequencing cards are a great way to support young learners. Students practice this skill in a whole group setting first…
and individually! Young readers then take turns retelling the story events to their reading partners. This oral language practice is perfect for students of all ages, but it is particularly helpful for second language learners or students who are still working on building their oral language.
This is a great opportunity to practice using transition words such as: first, next, then, after that, and finally.
We know that when students understand and practice using these words orally, they are more likely to use them in their writing later once their transcribing skills catch up to their oral language skills.
Students identify character traits and learn that characters can change the way they act and the things they say throughout the story.
You can find the activities for Tops and Bottoms lesson plans by clicking:
Grammar and Vocabulary
Did you know we also have word work activities, sentence study, and vocabulary for our Engaging Readers units?
For each story, we select tow vocabulary words to look at closely. We then use those words throughout the upcoming weeks to make them more permanent.
The grammar and vocabulary activities are part of the original Engaging Readers. These activities are only available in a printable format. The printable unit is located in Deanna Jump’s store. You can find this set of low-prep set of read aloud routines and lessons by clicking:
Students will enjoy these math and literacy centers to go along with the story. Students practice ending sounds, vowels, and addition.
TOP AND BOTTOMS STEM Activities
Here is another fun way to tie in the story throughout your daily schedule! For this STEM activity, students make a plan, create a design, and build their own farmer’s market vegetable stand. You can have students work independently or in small groups to make their structures.
These kindergarten students are ADORABLE! Look at how much fun they had!
The math and literacy centers, as well as, the STEM activity are available in the Science, Math, & More resource for Tops and Bottoms. It is located in Deanna’s store and can be found here:
Tops and Bottoms Snack Idea
A fun snack? I think so! Check out this snack idea from the grocery store, Safeway! that would be the perfect way to end your week of reading Tops and Bottoms. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 to 3.4 ounce pistachio flavored instant pudding mix
- 2 cups milk
- 4 ounces chocolate cookies crushed
- 2 1/2 TBSP marzipan divided
- green red and yellow food coloring (1 drop red, 2 drops yellow, 3 drops green)
Now, you are not into making marzipan carrots (I do not blame you), I found these adorable candy carrots on Amazon (affiliate link) that look like an easy option:
Tops and Bottoms Free Activity
I found these adorable carrots at Target, so I made a quick math activity for you. You can snag it by adding your email to the box below!
If you can’t find these carrots at Target, here are some from Amazon that I think will also work well:
I hope you found a few more ideas you can use for the book Tops and Bottoms. If you are looking for more books lesson ideas, you can find them by clicking:
- Koala Lou Lesson Ideas with Printable Activities
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears Activities & Lesson Plans
- Dragons Love Tacos Lessons, Activities, and Classroom Ideas with Crafts
- Free Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse Lesson Plans