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Here’s a collection of activities to use with the story “Jamaica Tag Along”


Social Studies  



Title – Activities to use with story “Jamaica Tag Along”
By – Scott Dan
Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 2nd
Jamaica Tag-Along

1. To promote social awareness among the students.
2. To encourage children to think about how others may feel before they act
3. To provide the students an opportunity to develop speaking/performing skills
4. To provide the students with an opportunity to develop their bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and verbal-linguistic intelligences.

Primary Objective: The students will demonstrate their knowledge of the story “Jamaica Tag Along” by creating an in-class mini-play that reenacts the previous parts of the story that was read in whole group, and illustrates how the students would like to see the story finish. The students will be given 10 minutes to develop their parts before performing it to the rest of the group.

Objective for alternative 3.1: The students will demonstrate how they are affected by how others treat them by creating an in-class mini-play about how they feel when one person says that they do not want to play with them. The students will have 20 minutes to think about, rehearse and write down what they would like to say during their presentation.

Primary Lesson:
1. Explain to the students that we are not going to read the entire story right away. Explain that they are going to do a special, fun activity that I know your just going to love. Explain to the children that they will need to pay extra special attention to all the parts in this story and not just when they are reading. Ask the students for ways in which they can pay extra special attention during the story when other people are reading. Tell them that they are going to read from pages 187 -196.
2. Have each student read his or her part until they reach page 196.
3. Ask one of the students to explain what is happening in the story so far.
4. Ask what the characters names in the story were and how they treated each other.
5. Explain to the children that they are going to reenact this story. Ask if anyone knows what the word reenact means? If no one knows, then tell them it has something to do with acting out a story and then ask them if anyone knows what the word means.
6. Break the children into two groups.
7. Ask each group to do the following:
a. Assign someone the part of Jamaica, Ozzie, and Berto. If more characters need to be used because of group size, then use the characters Berto’s mom, Jed, Buzz and Maurice.
b. Ask each group to create a small play to reenact what has already happened in the story and then to finish the story any way that they would like to see it end. If this is too much for the students to handle at once, then just have them finish the story anyway they would like to see it end.
c. Set a timer for 10 minutes so that the students know how much time they have to create their play.
d. Have each group perform for the other children.
e. Read the rest of the story.


1. After the students create a play, ask each one to write about one experience where someone else told them that they were not allowed to join their group and play with them.


1. Have the students use puppets for their play.
2. For the extension activity, have the students write a couple of sentences that they would say to either Ozzie about not letting her join them to play basket ball, or to Berto when he tried to help her make a sand castle. If there is time remaining, have the students draw a picture about their sentence(s).

3. Below is a whole new idea:

3.1 Read the whole story without interruption. When the students finish, ask
someone to explain what happened in the story and how each of the following
characters felt:
a. Jamaica when Ozzie said she could not play with them.
b. Berto when Jamaica told him to stay away from her castle.
c. Jamaica when Ozzie came and helped her and Berto with the sand castle.
d. Berto when his mother told him that big kids don’t like to be bothered by little kids.

3.2 Divide the children up into groups of two. Ask each person to pretend that they are either a, b, c, or d from above. Ask them to create a few things that they would say to the other person that lets them know how they feel. Explain that they will have about 20 minutes to think about this and to rehearse it, as they are going to put on a little play for the rest of the group. Ask them to write each of their thoughts down after both people have had a chance to rehearse a few times. These will be turned in, so please use your best handwriting. Don’t worry too much about spelling for this project. Tell the children that you are more interested in what they will say to each other than anything else.

Lower Abilities:

Pg. 54: Use the sentence strips provided. Work in a group to solve each sentence. First, give each child one sentence strip and show them how it works. Explain that the ending to each sentence has been left off and they are going to finish the sentence once they have found the word that fits in the sentence strip. Have one child at a time come to the front of the group to complete the sentence. Assist the child as needed with complicated words. If needed, read the sentence to them, but allow them to choose the final answer. Ask for a group consensus. Have the child place the sentence strip on the board with magnets or tape. Have the child complete the sentence using a piece of chalk.

Pg. 55: Have the children read the sentence and then answer orally. When finished, have each child choose and complete one of the sentences in the answer blank provided.

Pg. 56: Ask the children to read only the underlined word and not the rest of the sentence. Then have them find the picture that matches the word. Do this for the first three. Go back to the first question and this time read the whole question and find the answer. Ask the children if they had different answers after reading the entire sentence. Ask them why do they think they had different answers the second time. Complete the rest of the sentences by reading the entire question. For each one, ask the children how they might have chosen a different answer if they did not read the entire question. (If there is time, you may engage them in a discussion about how they sometimes hear only bits and pieces of a conversation and think they know what the other people are talking about. Ask them if this ever happened to them.)

Pg. 57-59: skip

Pg 60-61: Either read the story to them, or have them read the story (depending whether or not you believe they can read it, or if they start reading it and are having too much trouble with the text). Answer questions orally. Talk about the various parts of a story. Ask the children if every story has a beginning, middle, and an end. Read a storybook to them and have them summarize the beginning, middle, and end.

Extra Work: Use the card game Wahoo Word Lab for building word skills and increasing motivation in reading and writing. How to play for first time use: Simply have the children use the cards to create wacky words. After about five minutes of exploratory time, have the children make one word to share with the rest of the group. They are then to use their word in a sentence. For writing skills, have them write this sentence down, or continue to do more examples orally.

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