Pat Brisson - Author

Ideas for using


in the classroom

Brendan O'Doyle is joined by his pet snake, dog, cat and pony as he brings a tea party in his little red wagon, hobbledy-clop, hobbledy-clop up the road to Grandma's.

"The text and pictures blend well and the story rolls along at a leisurely pace. Good for story time ... and also for one-on-one reading." School Library Journal

HOBBLEDY-CLOP is a cumulative tale that gathers its characters as the story progresses. The repetition of details helps young listeners both remember and predict the story. Before reading the story, tell your students that some phrases are repeated over and over again. Ask them to listen carefully and see what phrases they can repeat after the story's been read to them.

Point out to your students that Atlas the dog, Beatrice the cat and Corabelle the pony join Brendan in alphabetical order. Have students write the first letter of their names on a piece of paper. Put them in groups of four and let them arrange themselves in alphabetical order by those letters. Can two groups combine themselves alphabetically?

Have your class make a list of the different ways that Dudley was carried to Grandma's. If they had to carry a tickling snake, how would they do it? How many different ways can your class imagine?

Hobbledy-clop is a word invented by the author. Can your students figure out what it describes? (the sound of the wagon being pulled up the bumpy road) This is called an onomatopoeia - when the name of a thing imitates the sound associated with it. Can your students think of any more? Buzz, hiss, clip-clop, creak, slurp, and boom are a few. Have your students try their hand at inventing some of their own or finding more in stories.

Kindergartners and First graders aren't too young to do literary analysis. Read Pat Brisson's BENNY'S PENNIES and help your class compare the two books. What are the ways they're similar? Here are a few of them:

Both stories are about young boys.

Both have names that begin with B.

Both boys go on a trip and head back home.

Benny accumulates gifts for his family.

Brendan accumulates guests for his Gram's tea party.

Both are generously doing nice things for people they love.

Both have repeating lines throughout the story.

Both stories have a cat and dog in them.

Try some tea party science. Demonstrate the three states of matter which water can assume. Lead students to see that temperature helps make the changes possible. Show students some ice cubes, discuss what will happen if allowed to sit at room temperature. When the ice has melted, demonstrate how heating the water changes it to steam.

Have your students ever seen sugar cubes? Bring some in and let them experiment with dissolving some in cold and warm water. Which do they think will cause the sugar to dissolve faster? How are sugar cubes formed? A very controlled level of humidity mixes with the sugar crystals and then the crystals are pressed into cube shape. Ask your students to think of a time when they had a lollipop or popsicle that got on their fingers. The stickiness was from the syrup formed by the sugar and a liquid.