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I Will Never NOT EVER Eat a Toma


I Will Never NOT EVER Eat a Tomato

Author: Lauren Child
ISBN: 0439305470

Unit Study prepared by: Ami Brainerd

Social Studies: Sibling Relationships
Charlie really has his work cut out for him when his parents ask him to fix little Lola dinner.  If your student is older, in what ways does your student help out with younger siblings?  What jobs are hard?  What did Charlie do to make the task more fun? 
If your student is younger, what jobs do older siblings help him or her with?  Is he or she cooperative?  (You may want to discuss this further as needed).

Charlie was very smart to make dinner fun for Lola.  He used his imagination to pretend that the foods were other things, and this enticed Lola to try them.  You may want to share some stories with your students of how you used to pretend with your own siblings.  I know my brother and I really used our imaginations when we played together.  You can also ask your student to share memories of how he has used his own imagination to pretend-play (with or without a sibling).

Geography:  Greenland
The "peas" are really green drops from Greenland.  Where is Greenland?  Grab a map or globe and find Greenland with your student.  You may want to make a story disk with peas on it to place here.  Your older student may want to do a bit of research on Greenland (or even the explorer, Eric the Red).

Flag of Greenland
Outline Map of Greenland

Geography:  Mt. Fuji
The "mashed potatoes" are really cloud fluff from Mt. Fuji.  Again, get out your map/globe and find Mt. Fuji with your student and find Japan. 
Here are a few Mt. Fuji facts for you to go over with your older student:
Mt. Fuji is the highest peak in Japan reaching 12,390 feet tall!
It's located on the main island of Japan, Honshu
It is a snow-capped volcano!

Mt. Fuji Printable Page

Language Arts: Memory/Listmaking
After a few readings, can your younger student remember the foods that Lola WON'T eat?  (peas, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, spaghetti, eggs, sausages, cauliflower, cabbage, baked beans, bananas, oranges, apples, rice, cheese, or fish sticks...and of course, no tomatoes!).  You may want to help her record her narrated list.  Your older student may want to write his list down and see how many he can remember on his own.  If you have more than one student (if they can both write), you can make this a game to see who can remember the most items.  Maybe the winner gets to pick what you are having for dinner?  Orange twiglets, anyone?

For extra fun, challenge your student to compile a final list in alphabetical order.

Language Arts:  Listmaking
Lola says she won't eat a potato-- not even mashed!  What other ways are there to eat potatoes?  See how long of a list you and your students can create!  Make sure to choose one of the possibilities for dinner.

Language Arts:  Creative Thinking and Creative Writing
I love the imagination Charlie used to think up new names for the foods; however, he didn't simply re-name foods-- he had stories to go along with each one!   Let your student make a small list of foods (encourage whole foods like fruits/veggies, etc.).  Now, can he re-name the foods? Can he dictate or record some creative thoughts on where that food came from?  Have fun with this!   What better way to get your student writing? (Also see Math: Cooking lesson)

Language Arts: Vocabulary
very uncommon
inclined to complain or whine
to swallow or eat greedily
completely or definitely
to bite or chew gently or bit by bit

Vocabulary Cards

Art:  Font
Explain to your student that there are many different types of type print for computers (word-processors).  Show some different types of font in a magazine, book, newspaper -- or -- compare some different books.  Then, go back through the story and have your student point out where the writing looks different.  Why would the author choose to do this?  What affect does it have?  It definitely emphasizes certain words; it also adds to the informal tone of the book.  The first sentence of this book lets the reader know it's going to be very informal (written in first person/present tense); it's as if Charlie is talking right to the reader. 

Make sure you also discuss the 2 page spread where Charlie and Lola are underwater-- what's going on with the font in those pictures?  Why?

The next time your student writes a story (or you could even use the creative writing exercise above once finished), let him type it using your word processing program.  Let him play around with the fonts.  Different fonts create different feelings; try to get him to articulate why he chose certain fonts over others.   You can also discuss when it's best to use a plain font (easy reading) and why it's best to use the fancy ones sparingly.

Here are some font samples for further discussion:

By the way, you can find free downloadable fonts all over the internet if you want to install a few on your computer for your student to use.

Art:  Texture
With your younger student, you may want to go through the illustrations page by page and point out all the fun textures that Child has used.  Does your student catch on?  Can he show you some textures, too?  (More on texture in the lesson below)

Art:  Informal Style, Collage, and Mimicking the Illustrator
If you've already done the lesson on fonts, you've exposed your student to the idea of informal style/tone in the actual text (the writing as well as the font style chosen).  The artwork is also done in an informal style-- it's very primitive and looks as if a child drew some of the pictures.  Your younger student may want to try to copy the bowl (from the dedication page)-- it looks exactly like something my four year old would draw!

However, Lauren Child pulls a few other things together in a collage fashion for a unique and unified look.  I absolutely love her style.  She includes texture (the bowl on the dedication page has a netting type texture look in the center) in many of the pages-- note the textures with your student-- the wallpapers, the lamp shade, the tiled kitchen counter-top, the space ship, the tablecloth under the peas, etc.  

What else is unique about her work?  The child-like drawings are cut-outs.  Note these examples with your student...what pieces of each picture look as if the illustrator cut them out with scissors and pasted them on?  There is one other element I noted that she uses consistently throughout her illustrations-- realistic photos.  Where are these found?  (peas, planets, rabbit, the five carrots, potato, mountain top, fish sticks, etc.)  Note these with your student asking your student to point them out. 

Now, can your older student take all these elements that have been collaged together and mimic Lauren Child's work?   Take it a piece at a time (literally)
1.  encourage your student to write a story (or choose one he has already finished)
2. draw some figures of the main characters that are appropriate for the plot of the story and cut them out; draw some other props and cut them out, too
3. using a digital camera, take some pictures of items around the house that would work well for other props in the story OR use some photo-type clip art (Microsoft On-line has plenty) and print it out.  Cut those items out, too.
4. create the background scenes using plain colors (and try to include textures if that is a concept your student understands-- you could even use some scrap wallpaper samples here and there to get some texture effects)
5.  add the realistic images and cut-outs from steps 2 &3 to the background to complete your illustrations
6.  if you do this and you like your finished product, let me know, and I will post the pictures here on the website!  Your student will be "published!"

Science:  Health- Food Groups
Explain to your student that different types of foods can be classified into food groups.  We have five basic food groups including grains, protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Grains- foods such as rice, pasta, cereal, muffins, pancakes, and bread; whole grains are best (whole wheat, oats, brown rice, etc.)

Meat (Protein)- foods such as beef, chicken, fish, dried beans, eggs, and peanut butter

Milk (Dairy)- foods such as cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese

Fruits- dried (raisins, cranberries), fresh, or canned (fresh is best!); foods such as apples, berries, melon, banana, grapes, citrus (limes, lemons, grapefruit, oranges), etc.

Vegetables- raw or cooked (raw is best!); foods such as lettuce, leafy greens, carrots, cabbage, celery, turnips, squash, broccoli, etc.

Take a piece of paper and write the food groups in five columns.  Then, using the list of Lola's No Foods classify them by writing them into the appropriate column.   (Lola's No Foods-- peas, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, spaghetti, eggs, sausages, cauliflower, cabbage, baked beans, bananas, oranges, apples, rice, cheese, fishsticks, and tomatoes)

For your younger student, you may want to write the food groups down on poster board and use these clip art pieces (print them and cut them out) to let him place the appropriate food under the correct heading.  This will be a fun hands-on activity for both of you.
Another variation of this would be to gather your child's play food (if she or he has a small kitchen with play foods) and classify those items into the different food groups.

Additional information:
Food Pyramid for Young Children

Additional Resource to purchase (if you want to rabbit trail on this topic):  Healthy Eating Lapbook

Science:  Health- A Balanced Meal
At the end of the story, you will see what Charlie has decided for dinner-- Carrots, Tomatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, and Fish Sticks.  Is this a balanced meal?   Of course, he did a great job for being an older brother, but what may have their mother added to the meal?  Are there any food groups missing? (dairy?  grain?)   What could your student add to this meal to make it more balanced?  (a glass of milk?)

Science:  Planets- Jupiter
In the story, Charlie claims that "orange twiglets" (carrots) are from Jupiter!  Where in the world is Jupiter?  Jupiter is one of the eight planets in our solar system; it is the fifth planet from the sun.   It is also HUGE!  Jupiter is so big that all the other planets could fit inside!  It has over a dozen moons and a dark ring (this is hard to see).  It is also known for it's great red spot.   Jupiter is also a gaseous planet-- if it had a little more mass it would be considered a star instead of a planet. 

Enchanted Learning Information on Jupiter
Jupiter Coloring Page

If your student is interested, you may want to introduce him to the other seven planets which include:  Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.  You may even wish to print out information and coloring pages from Enchanted Learning (all linked above) and make a small book on the eight planets.

Here is even more information about Jupiter--

Science: The Digestive System
see the lesson in The Thanksgiving Wish if your student wishes to study this topic

Applied Math:  Cooking
Take the time to cook something with your student this week. Emphasize counting (1 banana, 1 apple) and measurement/fractions (1/2 cup orange juice, etc.).  

Here are a few recipes I concocted to go along with the story

Orange Twiglet Dippers
1- 1lb. bag baby carrots
Other various raw veggies for dipping (as desired) -- cauliflower, broccoli, celery, sugar snap peas, etc.-- cut into dipping size shapes

1 1/4 cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated (fresh) onion
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Let chill (overnight if possible, but sometimes hard when the kids want to try it right away!).  Serve with your dippers.
**If you serve other vegetables besides the twiglets, rename the others, too!  It will be fun when dad comes home to tell him that you ate twiglets, __________, and __________ with your dip today! 

Lola's No Way Fruit Smoothie
What are three fruits that Lola says she does NOT eat?  (apples, oranges, and bananas)
Here is a Smoothie recipe that includes all three! 

1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1 medium sized apple peeled and chopped
1/4 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into cups and serve!  You may want to add a dollop of whipped cream on top just for fun!

Bunny Trails

Fruit, Vegetable, or ?
Some of the vegetables that *we* call vegetables may really be fruit...or, they may be something else, but what?
Let your older student research the following "vegetables" to find out exactly what they are!
Green Pepper

Another unit you may enjoy-- I Am Not Sleepy and I WILL NOT Go To Bed (by Lauren Child)

Just For Fun

Play a Memory Game:
Using the clip art file, print out the food items on cardstock/index paper and cut them apart.  Then select three of them and put on a plate and allow your student to look them over carefully for about 15 seconds and then cover them with napkin or paper towel.  Carefully remove one food item without the student seeing which one you took.  Take off the napkin and ask, "Which one is missing?"  Can your student remember?  If he can, select four clip art pieces for the next round and repeat the process.  Repeat rounds as desired-- adding a piece of food each time.  The more pieces on the plate, the more difficult it will be to determine which one is missing.  This will help your student to improve observation and memory skills.

Make a Lapbook!
In the Hands of a Child Healthy Eating Lapbook

Field Trip:  Visit your local Farmer's Market.  Can your student identify all the different fruits and vegetables at the stand?  Choose a few new ones (or old favorites...or even ones you *think* you won't like) to take home and try. 

Go-along Books:
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Growing Vegetable Soup by Louis Elhert
Eating the Alphabet by Louis Elhert
Eating the Alphabet Activity Card
Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
What Happens to My Food? (Usborne Flip Flaps)
What Happens to a Hamburger (Lets Read and Find Out Science) by Paul Showers
Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

Go-along Videos:
Green Eggs and Ham
The Magic School Bus For Lunch
The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space