Building Background Knowledge with Oobleck? Part 2

In my last post, I explored how reading Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck



to my two older girls (ages 7 and 9) might help them indirectly build background knowledge, as explained in Fisher and Frey’s article  Building and Activating Background KnowledgeIn that article, the authors state:

“…reading a wide range of texts on a given topic builds background knowledge. When students read texts at their reading level, their understanding of the topic improves.”

So, I wondered what background knowledge is being indirectly built by reading this text.

Some possible topics and messages could be:

  • The world of royal hierarchy: Kings have people who work and live under them
  • The nature of being a ruler vs. being a leader.
  • What power can do to a person / The desire for power can blind a person to what is going on around them: the ‘riches’ they already enjoy as well as the suffering of the people around you.
  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • A hero can be anyone, including the smallest person with the least amount of power.
  • Bravery means standing up for what is right in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
  • Taking responsibility for one’s actions, particularly mistakes.
  • The power of saying “Sorry”.
  • Change is not always for the better.

The question I now have is: will my girls get all of that from hearing this book read to them? How much should I guide them to a particular understanding of this text?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s