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Siblings and Activities That Contribute to Learning to Get Along in This Engaging Picture Book

Updated on April 24, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Siblings Must Find an Activity to Do Together

Younger siblings can be a pest
Younger siblings can be a pest | Source

What Is an Older Sibling to Do?

Cary Fagan has the perfect picture book for parents to choose for a story time activity if there is a younger sibling in the home who wants to follow the older sibling around in order to enjoy activities together. What Are You Doing, Benny? will engage young children in learning to get along when the older sibling actually considers the younger sibling to be a pest. Picture books are often a great way to start a conversation in order to solve a family problem, and this delightful picture book is a great choice to solve this common problem with siblings.

Benny has a younger sibling who just wants to be with him. His little brother thinks that Benny is always doing cool stuff and he wants to participate. The little brother tries to convince Benny that he is good at any activity that Benny is engaged in. Building a fort looks like a cool activity. Mixing a tasty potion looks like a cool activity. Benny's little brother wants to participate in both activities. How about making a paper airplane together? Benny's answer is always "no" when his little brother asks if he can help. Benny doesn't even want his little brother to lie on the grass outside with him. What is an older brother to do? There is finally a solution that both can enjoy together. Young readers will discover that it is possible for an older sibling to get along with a younger sibling if they find an activity to do together.

Kady Macdonald Denton contributes her talent as an illustrator to What Are You Doing, Benny? with her charming illustrations that are done in pastel colors. her illustrations fill the pages with fun as these siblings try to learn to get along.

What Are You Doing, Benny? was published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for ages 3-7 and has an ISBN of 978-1-77049-857-0.

Pastel Illustrations Fill the Pages With Fun


Bring Benny and His Little Brother to Your Classroom with Some Engaging Lessons

I used picture books in my early childhood classroom to teach concepts in many areas of learning. Picture books are the perfect tool to introduce a concept to young children. Conversations can begin after reading a picture book about a problem that children may face. Cary Fagan's What Are You Doing, Benny? is the perfect picture book for reading and discovering a way to get along with a pesky little brother or sister.

*Read What Are You Doing, Benny? in a story time session. Call attention to the activities that Benny wants to do without his pesky little brother's help.

*Take a class poll of the number of children who are the oldest sibling in their family.

*Take a class poll of the number of children who are the little brother or sister in their family?

*Take a class poll of the feelings of being a little brother or sister and the feelings of being the oldest sibling in the family. Which position do the children think is the best to have?

*What kinds of things do the children like to do together with their siblings at home? How do they decide what to do together? What kinds of things do older siblings like to do alone at home without their younger sibling?

*Benny and his little brother discover that they can do a puppet show together. Create an art project with small paper bags, puppet eyes, construction paper, crayons, markers, or paint for children to create puppets to perform a puppet show in the classroom.

*Puppets are often used to help young children engage in a discussion. They are able to use the puppets to give a voice to their true feelings. Present the opportunity for children to engage in a conversation about their true feelings about being a younger or older sibling.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt


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