Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Over in the Meadow

Keats, Ezra Jack (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 1999. 32 pages
First published: 1971
ISBN: 9780140565089 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

recurring patterns, setting, structures and features

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:

Mothers, babies and bustling life in the meadow are the themes of this classic counting rhyme. Youngsters will enjoy the verses’ rhythms, as a new animal family is introduced in each spread. They may wish to chant along or imitate the sounds and actions described: “‘Buzz!’ said the mother./‘We buzz,’ said the five/So they buzzed and they hummed,/Near the snug beehive.”

The vocabulary is evocative and offers a range of verbs in imperative, present and past tenses. Muskrats dive and burrow; fish swim and leap. Three little birds sing; eight lizards bask. Older readers may be encouraged to develop their own rhymes.

Illustrations combine detailed textures, washes and cut-out effects to portray appealing scenes of animal family life. The whorls and spots on the turtles’ shells are reminiscent of an oil and water mix. In another spread, elegant, whisper-thin brushstrokes depict the arched legs and antennae of “a gay mother cricket and her little crickets seven.” The day in the meadow ends with ten fireflies, glowing against a background of warm browns and black: “So they shone like stars in the soft shady glen.”

  •  Do a picture walk, naming the different types of animals in the meadow.
  •  As you read, make predictions about rhyming words that might complete the stanzas.
  •  Listen to a teacher-selected musical version of the story. Which version do you prefer and why?
  •  

    Play charades, using the animals in the song as inspiration.

  •  How would this story be different if it took place in a forest or a city or another location? Draw a picture of your idea, with the animals you imagine would be there.
  •  

    Study the book cover and do a picture walk; guess what a meadow might be. Compare your ideas with a dictionary definition.

  •  

    Listen to a teacher-selected musical version of the story. Choral read along with the teacher.

  •  

    Notice how the same verb is used in different ways (imperative, present, past) to create a poem. Notice the rhyming words on each page. Suggest other words that might complete the stanzas.

  •  

    Use this as a mentor text to create a poem with the same structure but a different setting, such as “Over in the Pond” (or park, sea, classroom, etc.).

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology