THE ROCK FROM THE SKY BY JON KLASSEN
These notes have been written by the teachers at the CLPE to provide schools with ideas to
develop comprehension and cross-curricular activities around this text at school or in the home
environment. They build on our work supporting teachers to use picture books to enhance
critical thinking and develop creative approaches in art and writing. They encourage a deep
reading of and reflection on the text, which may happen over a series of reading sessions,
rather than in just one sitting. We hope you find them useful.
These notes have been written with children aged 5-9 in mind. However, this is a sophisticated
picture book which has scope for it to be interpreted in different ways with pupils of different
ages. It is important that you use your knowledge of the children you are working with to select
questions and activities from those suggested that are most appropriate and that best suit their
age and emotional maturity.
INTRODUCING THE TEXT:
- Share the front cover of the book with the children, and encourage them to focus on
the illustration of the characters, before revealing the title. Who or what are these
characters? What do you think you know about them? What might have brought them
together? What do you think they might be thinking about at this point? You could
encourage the children to write some of these ideas in thought bubbles around a copy
of the illustration. Come back to think about the story that might lie inside of this book.
What do you think might happen in their story? What makes you think this?
- Now reveal the title of the text, The Rock from the Sky. Look at the placing of the title
on the front cover and the dark font used for the title. What are you thinking about now
the title has been revealed? What are you feeling or thinking now about the story that
could lie ahead? What is making you think or feel these things? What do you see in your
mind as you think about the title The Rock from the Sky? How do you feel about the two
characters now? You could give mixed pairs or groups of children a copy of the front
cover to record their thoughts and ideas, or collect and scribe the thoughts of the whole
group around an enlarged copy of the cover.