Targeted age Group:
Learning from our experiences is an important part of life. Being able to reflect on our own experiences and the experiences of others will help us in making future decisions. Giving recommendations for behavior based on observed or experienced events is also an important tool that will be learned in this lesson.
How to teach it:
I would have students read this book chapter by chapter in groups as a guided reading activity. At the end of each chapter they would have to write a piece of advice for an advice column just like Stuart does at the end of the book. Then after they have read the entire book they will have a complete advice column consisting of the student's opinions of what Stuart learned throughout the chapters.
Through this craft lesson the students are learning to derive meaning from events and then transform that meaning into advice. An example of a piece of advice they could derive from chapter one is, "If you let a dinosaur, a gorilla, and a horse into your room they will make a mess!" The advice can be funny since Stuart has many funny situations as long as the advice is derived from the chapter.
After the students have made an advice column based on Stuart's experiences they can make their own advice column. Their advice column can be directed toward the second graders who will enter into third grade soon. They can give them advice on how to be successful in third grade. This would probably be best to do as a class activity and then the column could be posted outside the third grade classroom for the second graders to see.
Pennypacker, Sara. Stuart's Cape. Illus. Martin Matje. Cambridge, NY: Scholastic Inc., 2002.