Once Upon a Dime
by Nancy Kelly Allen
Facilitate whole class participation in the shared
reading and discussion of Once Upon a Dime. Read aloud the story.
Stop reading at various points and ask students to
make predictions, such as, What will grow on the tree when pig squish is used as
fertilizer? Sheep biscuits?
Ask the following open-ended questions:
What did you think about the story?
Did the story remind you of anything you have heard, seen, or read?
What did you like about the story?
What did you learn from listening/reading the story?
Which character was your favorite? Why?
What passage in the story did you like the most?
7. Did you notice a pattern in the book? Explain the pattern you noticed.
Can money really grow on trees?
What is the relationship between plants and animals in this story?
In real life?
students complete one or more of the following based on the book:
Write a letter to other students persuading them to read the book.
Write a book review persuading readers to either read the book or not
read the book. Include a
description of the story, but do not include the ending.
What was the author’s message and purpose in writing the book?
Give your opinion of the book (Did you like it?
Rank it from one to five. One
is the highest ranking). Make a chart to display the rankings.
Write a poem about a farm or money.
Write a newspaper article about the events that happened on the farm.
Write a letter to Farmer Worth suggesting what fertilizer he should use
on the tree. Explain what you think
would grow if the fertilizer is used. A
mixture of two fertilizers can be used. What two fertilizers do you
recommend? Explain what you think would grow with the two fertilizers and
how much of each.
Students will demonstrate what they have learned
through performance or activities.
Write and perform a commercial about an “unusual” farm.
Divide students into several groups of three.
Each group retells the story with a beginning, middle, and an end. Each
member of a group is assigned a segment of the story to retell.
Create a word quilt.
Each student writes the name of a farm animal or a coin, such as
“dime” on a square of paper. Draw
a picture of the animal or coin. Piece
the papers together on the wall to make a quilt.
Students will act out events in the story in the order in which they happened.
Discuss fiction and
Ask the students if a money tree could really grow on a farm?
Is this story fiction or nonfiction? How
did you decide on your answer?
Cite example passages that indicate the story is fiction.
Have students write or express orally an “unusual” farm they would like to
own or visit.
Students will decorate a tree (a branch of a tree held upright in a tree stand
or flower pot) with plastic coins. Attach
a paperclip to the end a string and tie other end of string to a branch on the
tree. Tie several strings to the
branches. Slip plastic coins in each paperclip.
Let students have a picking party. Students
will add the value of the coins they picked.
One or two students picking at a time is recommended.
Variation: Students picks
only pennies or dimes, to learn to recognize that particular coin.
Most of the animals on the farm were plain and regular, also known as average.
Take a few measurements of the students in class.
Share the data to find the “average” in the following:
Arm span from fingertip to
Pulse rate (at rest)______________
Number of vehicles in
Number of pets______________
Find the Mean,
and Range of the data collected.
Mean is the same as finding the average of a group.
To get the mean, add up all the numbers for any category, such as Shoe
Size, in your data collection. Divide
that number by the number of students that participated.
means the middle number. To find the
medial, organize the numbers for any category, such as Pulse Rate, in your data
collection so they are listed from smallest to largest.
Find the number exactly in the middle.
If you have an even number of items, you will have to find the number
that comes between the two middle numbers.
means the number which occurs the most often.
To find the mode, list the numbers for any category, such as Age, in your
data collection. The number that
appears most often is the mode.
is the difference between the largest number and the smallest number in your
Do you think the people on Bird Haven Hollow were
full of hot air when they told the story of money growing on trees?
Could you also be full of hot air? A
balloon will give you an idea of just how much hot air you exhale with each
breath. For demonstration, give one
student a balloon. The student will
blow one breath into the balloon. Hold
the stem of the balloon closed while another student measures the circumference
(distance around) the balloon. Have
student blow one more breath into the balloon.
Take second measurement. Keep
blowing one breath at a time, measuring after each.
What did the balloon measure after one breath_____?
How many breaths did it take to fully inflate the
Give each student a balloon and a partner.
Just how full of hot air are the students?
Let them measure to find out. Make a chart to record data from each
How many quarters are in a quarter of a quart of
quarters? Fill a quarter of a quart with quarters and count the number.
Does the size of the quarter-of-a-quart container make a difference? Does
a tall, narrow quarter-of-a-quart container hold more quarters than a wide,
shallow quarter-of-a-quart container? Does the shape of the container make
a difference? Why or why not?
Curriculum Content Area Standards
English Language Arts:
apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and
appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with
other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts,
their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual
features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, and
employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing
to National Standards
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.1 Reading for Perspective
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.2 Reading for Understanding
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.3 Evaluation Strategies
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.4 Communication Skills
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.5 Communication Strategies
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.6 Applying Knowledge
Arts: English NL-ENG.K–12.12 Applying Language Skills
ü With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
ü With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
ü Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
ü Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text
ü Ask and answer such questions to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
ü Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
ü Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
ü Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
ü Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
ü Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
ü Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
ü Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.