The Good Germ is about a germ who, rather than make people sick, wishes to help them by becoming a doctor. He needs to decide what kind of germ to be before he gets into the human body. However, the decision is made for him when he hitches a ride into the body of a young boy on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Teaching children to read is more than just being able to decode words. It is about them learning to understand, relate to and enjoy the book they are reading. It is about sharing their thoughts while they read and thinking about the book after they put it down. The following links provide some ideas you can use with children as you read the book together or they read it with a friend or alone. These ideas can also be used in guided reading as guided practice or as independent work in the classroom.


Author: Michelle Rodenburg

Illustrator: Amy Fitzgerald

The Good Germ

  • Prediction - A prediction is a guess about what you think will happen in the book.

    • What kind of Germ do you think John will turn out to be?
    • Tell what you think Jacob will do next.
    • How do you think Jacob is feeling?

    Questioning - Questioning is asking the children what they think will happen next.

    • What questions do you have about the story so far?
    • Why do you think...
    • What makes you think that?
    • What does it mean, "tingled on his tongue?"
    • What does it mean, "echoed through his body?"

    Infering - Inferring about a story is to imply that something has happened even though it is not written.

    • What can you infer about the kind of Germ John was?
    • What makes you think that?

    Clarifying - Clarifying is teaching children to use the text to discover the meaning of unknown words. Allow the children to use sticky notes to mark words they need to clarify while reading. Here are some words to start with when clarifying.

    • Moist
    • Humungous
    • Hustling
    • Intern
    • Echoed
    • Resource
    • Microscope
    • Popular

    Sensory Sensory is having the children put sound, smell, sight, taste and touch into the story.

    • What would that peanut butter and jelly sandwich taste like?
    • How would your stomach feel if it was echoing through your body?
    • How would you feel if you had a high fever?
    • How would you feel if you had to go to the hospital?

    Schema / Connecting - Schema and connecting are when the students connect the story to their own lives.

    • Have you ever been so tired that you didn't want to get up even to eat?
    • Have you ever been to a tea party?
    • Have you ever been to the hospital?
    • If you could be a germ, what would you be and why?

    Summarizing - Summarizing is a short verbal or written passage, tell what the story was about using a beginning, middle and an end.

    • What happened in the beginning of the story? Give three details from the story.
    • What happened in the middle of the story? Give three details from the story.
    • What happened in the end of the story? Give three details from the story.

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