Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A House Is a House for Me

Fraser, Betty (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2007. 48 pages
First published: 1978
ISBN: 9780142407738 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

point of view, recurring patterns, setting, structures and features

Award

National Book Award – 1983

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“A hill is a house for an ant, an ant./A hive is a house for a bee./A hole is a house for a mole or a mouse/And a house is a house for me!” So begins this rollicking long poem about the different houses that shelter people and animals. Some will be familiar to readers (a spider’s web, a dog kennel, a rabbit hutch), while others will be unexpected, such as a husk being a house for an ear of corn, a throat for a hum and a sandwich for some ham. In Hoberman’s world, almost anything can be a house to something else.

The rhythmic tempo and oft-repeated phrase “And a house is a house for me!”-–will inspire reader participation or perhaps a choral reading.

Artwork is imaginative and occasionally surreal, ranging from simple, colour illustrations to highly detailed, intricate drawings with lots to point to and identify.

The poem’s final assertion that “the earth is a house for us all” is a welcome message of acceptance and inclusion, and an important reminder that we must all be mindful of the earth.

  •  

    Before reading, brainstorm and list all the types of homes you know. 

  •  Notice the use of rhyme and rhythm. Why do you think the author repeated some words and phrases? Choose a favourite page to read aloud to the class.
  •  

    Using the author’s creative way of thinking, look around the class and find unconventional “homes” (a blackboard is home to chalk, a wall is home to a poster, etc.). Compile your ideas in an illustrated class book.

  •  

    Build a model of one of the houses from the book using recycled materials. Include a paragraph that describes your house. Hold a vernissage to showcase your models. Invite other classes and family members to attend.

  •  

    Before reading, brainstorm and list all the types of homes you know. 

  •  

    As the book is read aloud, add other types of homes to your class list. In what ways can the information categorized (by construction material, animal/object homes, size, etc.)? In a small group, try one of these methods of organization. Compare your results with other groups.

  •  

    Explore the variety of text patterns used. Make a class anchor chart of the different models.

  •  

    Choral read the story or prepare a Reader’s Theatre with the whole class.

  •  

    Use magazines and/or photos to create a collage poster about houses. Write a poem in the author’s style. Share your poem in a cooperative inside-outside circle.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology