Patricia Polacco’s Birthday WEEK

Here’s one of my favorite Polacco stories: My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother.

Based on the idea of sibling rivalry, kids will certainly relate to this one.  Richie seems to be better at everything until little sis Tricia finds a place where she thinks she’ll finally outshine her brother.  Based on memories of her own brother, the author shares actual family photos as well.

Teaching Idea:  Characterization

Use these basic instructions with your students: (if the student is an only child, they can describe a close friend or relative or even what the think a sibling would be like)

On one side of a doll cutout fill with words describing your brother or sister. 

On the other side decorate to look like your brother or sister.

Other questions to explore:

What do you love about your sibling?

What is he/she good at?

What annoys you about him/her?

What are some things you enjoy doing together?

These are just ideas.  When I’ve read this story, my students could talk about this topic for days!  Of course, modeling is always helpful.  So pull out that Summertime Journal, add a couple of real photos of your own sibling, and create your own chart.  Then, when you present this lesson, you’ll have your own examples to share.  Your own experiences are sure to motivate your students.


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