We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
Written and Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
When the class pet bites the finger of Penelope, a tyrannosaurus rex, she finally understands why she should not eat her classmates, no matter how tasty they are.
Primary Source Pairing:
Oh Penelope, the sweet dinosaur, who just wants to fit in. There are a lot of extension opportunities for this book. Use a feelings chart to track how Penelope and her classmates feel throughout the story, specifically focusing on their beginning and ending feelings. Study more about dinosaurs and their diets. Why does Penelope, the T. rex like to eat ponies and children? Which dinosaur would be a safer classmate? Perhaps a Brachiosaurus or a Brontosaurus? Or you can use the text itself as the primary source, and study the two classroom pages (9-10, 31-32) to find all the tiny details included by creator Ryan T. Higgins. If possible, gather multiple copies of the book so students can partner up and study the pages together.
Questions for Discussion:
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What is the physical setting?
- What’s happening in the image?
- Find a small detail in the illustration of the classroom.
- How is this classroom similar to your classroom? How is it different?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Feelings Chart: Ellie Peters, creator, linked on Pinterest