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Tuppy the Turtle Puppy is a story about a Maryland Terrapin who loses his way, with the help of a seagull, and lands in a quaint cove. He is found by a nice couple who lives in the cove and is nursed back to health. This is a "factional" story as it is based on a a true story. Tuppy the Turtle Puppy is a beautifully illustrated picture book brought to life by Amy Fitzgerald, a Colorado illustrator, who is attending Kansas State University. Included in the book are comprehension strategies that teachers and parents alike can use to help their children love to read. The strategies include prediction, questioning, inferring, clarifying, schema, and summarizing, all of which are part of the National Standards children are expected to learn in school.

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 

Tuppy the Turtle Puppy

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

    • Take a picture walk through the book and write a prediction about what you think the book will be about.
    • Take a picture walk through the book and share with a friend what you think the book will be about.
    • What did you see that helped you make that prediction?

    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, "...the waves crashing on the sand?"
    • What does it mean, "One seagull swooped in close…?"

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

    • Why did the seagull come to the beach and take Tuppy?
    • What frightened the seagull and made him fly away?
    • How do you think Ba felt when she found out Papa used her toothbrush to clean Tuppy?
    • Why do you think Tuppy was scared to go back into the water?

    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.
    • Use the word wall cards to find the words in the text and define them before reading.  
    Pier A wooden deck that goes out into the water
    Snuggly To be held tightly 
    Inlet A small area of water on the side of a creek or river
    Adventurous Bold, enjoy taking risks
    Swooped To move in a quick sweeping motion
    Scurried To hurry along
    Terrapin A turtle
    East Shore The eastern peninsula of Maryland

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

    • What would the cove water taste like to Tuppy?
    • How would the water feel to Tuppy when the grandson put him back in the big water?
    • What would it feel like for Tuppy to have his shell cleaned with a toothbrush?
    • What does it feel like to lay on your tummy in the warm sand?
    • What would the waves crashing on the sand sound like?
    • How would it feel to fly with a seagull?
    • What does the smell of salt water smell like?

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

    • Tell me what you know about a pier.
    • How do seagulls fly at the beach?
    • What do you know about warm sand?
    • How does it feel to be in the waves at the beach?
    • Tell me about your grandparents.
    • Have you ever been on a vacation like Ba and Papa's grandchildren?

    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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