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Jim Aylesworth
Curriculum Connections

My Grandfather's Coat
Retold by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Scholastic, 2014)

Compare and contrast Jim Aylesworth's version of the tale to other versions of the tale:

  • Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman (Scholastic, 1993)
    In this story Joseph is a boy. The illustrations present a second story as all the scraps fall through the floorboards where a mischief (group) of mice furnish their home, make clothes, and reuse every scrap of material.
  • Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback (Penguin Viking, 1999)
    A die-cut book that won the Caldecott Award in 2000. Learn more about this book at Anita Silvey's Book-a-Day Almanac.

The theme of this book (and the two listed above) is conservation of goods, recycling and reuse.

  • Discuss how reusing and repurposing an item helps the environment
    Consider what one might do with worn-out or out-grown clothing.
    Is it really possible to "make something out of nothing?"
  • How do these sayings fit the theme of the book?
    "One man's trash is another man's treasure"
    "Out with the old, in with the new"
    "A stitch in time serves nine"
    "A penny saved is a penny earned"
    "Out of sight; out of mind"

Many people want to re-use items to conserve and protect our earth. Make a class list of ways the young learner can re-use/recycle items that they have (this should not be a list of things other people can do but a list that the young learner can do on their own.)

Reading and Writing

  • In her review of My Grandfather's Coat - Sandra Bornstein included several curriclum ideas. check them out at her blog -- Sandar Bornstein's blog: Multicultural Picture Book - Yiddish Folksong. (13 February 2015).
  • Ask young learners to create simple drawings of each object (coat ... ) that came from grandfather's coat. Cut out the objects and then create a simple booklet with one of the objects on each page, putting the pages/objects in the correct sequence. Add a cover sheet with the story's title, and add a one-word label or a sentence (depending on the age of the learner) to each of the pages.
  • Use the booklet created to retell the story, providing details as the story is retold.
  • Compare and contrast the story line of My Grandfather's Coat to the storyline of Michelle Edwards's Room for the Baby (Illustrated by Jana Christy; Random House, 2012). Find out more about Room for the Baby by reading this article from Library Sparks.
  • Learn more about the illustrator Barbara McClintock on her website.

Complete Booklist & Links to Classroom Connections

Back to  My Grandfather's Coat Book Page.  
Aylesworth, Jim. My Grandfather's Coat. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic, 2014 32 pages. ISBN-10: 0439925452; ISBN-13: 978-0439925457. $17.99.
About the Author
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