Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?
Primary Source Pairing:
Five friends. Five stories. Five points of view to consider. Visual literacy opportunities are abundant in this book. Use the book itself as the primary source and take a close and slow look at the characters on the pages, consider what each character is thinking, feeling, waiting for, looking for, hoping for. Beginning on page 14 (same art as cover and the paired illustration above), invite students to choose a character: pig, bear, dog, rabbit, owl. Ask the students to think as that character and analyze the illustration. What does the pig see as she looks at the clouds? How is she feeling? Is she looking for something specific? Does she hope to see something special? And so on for the other characters. Use pages 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 for this character analysis. How does the image outside the window change what the character is feeling?
Additionally, use a feelings chart to match how the character is feeling. Invite students to think of a time they felt that way.
Note: I have great luck with using feelings charts during read alouds. Students have a half-sheet feelings chart that they hold during the story. While I am reading the book, I will ask students to think about how a character is feeling and find a feeling on the chart that matches. Students don’t always choose the same feeling, and that is the beauty of it. The chart is for readers and nonreaders alike. Consider laminating these charts for longevity. It does take some practice for students to have something like this in their lap during storytime. Review expectations frequently!
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What are the characters thinking?
- What are the characters feeling?
- Find the feeling on the feelings chart to match how the character feels. Have you felt like this before? When? Why?