Monday, January 27, 2014

Fortune Cookies, and a Good Book to Devour with Them!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Are you looking for a read aloud for Chinese New Year? In case the date has snuck up on you, it's this Friday, the 31st.

When I was at our public library the other day, I came across Fortune Cookies, by Albert Bitterman, with illustrations by Chris Raschka, who you probably know from Yo! Yes?

The story line is that a little girl named Fortune gets a box from her Uncle Albert, and in the box are seven fortune cookies. She opens one each day. First attention-grabbing novelty here: the "fortunes" are little slide-out tabs that the reader pulls from a picture of a fortune cookie. We all know how irresistible pull tabs and pop-ups are for our little listeners!

In addition to the Chinese New Year connection, this book has several features that will connect well with your primary grade curriculum. First of all, the days of the week pattern will pull even the youngest listeners into doing some participating and also some predicting words based on text pattern.. I love any opportunity to get kids noticing patterns in books, and this pattern is sure to be noticed (and commented on again and again!) by your students.

Close attention to both story and pictures are demanded to get the full benefits of of this text. What a great way to emphasize the role that illustrations play in telling a story, and the importance of attending carefully to the details of a picture.

Fortune cookies open the door to prediction: What could it mean? What might happen next? Why do you think that? What else might happen?  Revising predictions based on discussion with others, whether whole group or partner talk.  And then, checking the prediction ... were you right?

Imagination, possibility, prediction. Followed by a little snack of... fortune cookies, of course!

Hey, ya just never know where a good book might take you.

Happy Teaching!


  1. Thank you for this post. I wasn't sure what I was going to use for Chinese New Year until I read your post. I just bought this book on Amazon so that I can use it. Friday is our 100th day so I think I will be teaching about Chinese New Year on Thursday. I can't wait!

    Monkeying Around in First

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, Stacey! I'd love to hear what your first graders think of it.

  2. Thanks for sharing Linda! I posted your blogpost on my Facebook page ( for all my readers to enjoy! I love fortune cookies!

    :) Shelley
    The Perks of Teaching Primary

  3. How kind of you, Shelley! I'm just getting started on Facebook, so any attention I get is much appreciated! :)


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