Boost Literacy Comprehension in the Classroom with After the Fall Activities

Boost Literacy Comprehension in the Classroom with After the Fall Activities

The After the Fall book is a tale of resilience and growth through the character of Humpty Dumpty. The intricate plot and the protagonist's emotional journey offer opportunities for students to enhance their inference skills, understand symbolism, and embrace a growth mindset. This blog post will provide creative After the Fall activities to help children navigate their understanding of the text and illustrations and enrich their critical thinking.

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After the Fall Summary

After the Fall by Dan Santat is about Humpty Dumpty's journey to overcoming his fears and anxiety after falling off a wall. He's put back together, but there are some wounds that bandages and glue can't fix. He's scared to go back to his favourite spot on top of the wall to watch birds because he fears heights.

One day, he sees a paper plane and decides to make one of his own. Even though he fails many times, he perseveres to make the perfect aeroplane. When the plane lands on top of the wall, Humpty climbs up to retrieve it and conquers his fear of heights.

Alternative Versions of Humpty Dumpty

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries by David Levinthal
Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk
Dimity Dumpty by Bob Graham

After the Fall Activities

The After the Fall book promotes a growth mindset, perseverance, and courage and that it's okay to fail and see how we can overcome our fears by trying again.

This post will focus on After the Fall activities for character traits, cause and effect, and sequencing.

After the Fall Read-Aloud Questions

  • Why did Dan Santat call the book After the Fall?
  • Who is the main character in this story, and what happened to him?
  • Why does Humpty Dumpty develop a fear of heights?
  • How does Humpty Dumpty's fall affect him emotionally?
  • How does Humpty Dumpty's fear affect his daily activities?
  • What does Humpty Dumpty decide to do about his fear? Why?
  • Can you identify a moment in the story where Humpty Dumpty demonstrates courage? Describe it.
  • How do the illustrations help you understand Humpty Dumpty's feelings and experiences?
  • What does the bird symbolise in the story?
  • Why do you think Humpty Dumpty decides to make a paper plane?
  • How does the author show the passage of time in the story?
  • What was Humpty Dumpty's plan to get back on the wall? Did it work?
  • How does Humpty Dumpty's attitude change throughout the story?
  • How does the surprise ending change your understanding of the story?
  • How does the author use cause and effect in the story?
  • If you could give Humpty Dumpty one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
After the Fall Read-Aloud Questions
After the Fall Read-Aloud Questions

After the Fall Inference Activities

The After the Fall book doesn't explicitly state all the details. For example, Humpty Dumpty's transformation into a bird symbolizes his overcoming of fear. After the Fall activities include:

Show, Don't Tell Style: Santat employs a “show, don't tell” style, providing plenty of opportunities for students to infer information from the text and illustrations.
Activity: Have students fill out worksheets with inference questions while reading. This activity promotes critical thinking by encouraging students to read between the lines.

Symbolism: The story uses symbolism, such as the bird and the paper plane, which allows students to make inferences about the story's underlying themes.
Activity: Ask students to identify symbols in the book and discuss what they represent. This encourages students to think deeper about the story and themes.

Emotional Journey: Humpty Dumpty's emotional journey is subtly depicted through the story and illustrations, requiring students to infer his feelings.
Activity: Students could create a timeline tracking Humpty Dumpty's emotions throughout the After the Fall book. This requires them to infer emotions based on clues in the text and illustrations.

Open-Ended Conclusion: The story ends on an open note, allowing readers to infer Humpty Dumpty's future.
Activity: Ask students to write or draw what happens to Humpty Dumpty after the story ends. This encourages them to use inference skills to predict future events based on the information provided in the story.

After the Fall Inference Activities
After the Fall Inference Activities

After the Fall Growth Mindset Activities

The After the Fall book presents a tale of resilience, courage, and how a growth mindset helps Humpty overcome his fears. After the Fall activities include:

Overcoming Fear: The story shows Humpty Dumpty overcoming his fear of heights, an essential aspect of developing a growth mindset.
Activity: Initiate a class discussion where students share their fears and brainstorm ways to confront them. This activity promotes critical thinking and helps students understand that overcoming fears is part of personal growth.

Persistence: Humpty Dumpty's persistence in getting back up on the wall, even after the fall, teaches the importance of perseverance, a key component of a growth mindset.
Activity: Ask students to keep a ‘Persistence Diary,' noting down instances where they didn't give up. This exercise encourages self-reflection and fosters an understanding of the role of persistence in personal growth.

Embracing Failure: Humpty Dumpty's fall and subsequent recovery illustrate that failure isn't the end but a step towards success, reinforcing the concept of a growth mindset.
Activity: Students could create storyboards of instances when a perceived failure led to eventual success. This activity underscores the positive potential of setbacks and enhances creative thinking.

Self-belief: Humpty Dumpty's belief in himself, despite his fall, demonstrates the power of self-belief, a crucial aspect of a growth mindset.
Activity: Have students create artwork featuring positive affirmations about themselves. This activity boosts self-esteem and promotes a belief in personal capabilities.

After the Fall Cause and Effect Activities

The After the Fall book has clear depiction of cause and effect relationships, emotional consequences, resolution through action, and visual representation of these concepts. After the Fall activities include:

Clear Cause and Effect Relationships: The story presents clear cause and effect relationships, such as Humpty Dumpty's fall (cause) and his fear of heights (effect).
Activity: Students could create a diagram mapping out After the Fall’s main causes and effects. This activity enhances understanding of cause and effect relationships and promotes critical thinking.

Emotional Consequences: The After the Fall book shows how Humpty Dumpty's fall affects him emotionally, teaching students that causes and effects can be non-physical too.
Activity: Discuss how Humpty Dumpty's fall affected him emotionally and led to changes in his behaviour. This activity encourages empathy and a deeper understanding of cause and effect relationships.

Resolution Through Action: Humpty Dumpty overcomes his fear by taking action, showing that effects can also be changed by new causes.
Activity: Students could role-play or write alternative actions for Humpty Dumpty and discuss the potential outcomes. This helps them understand how different actions (causes) can lead to different outcomes (effects).

Visual Depiction of Cause and Effect: The book's illustrations powerfully depict the causes and effects, aiding students in visualizing these relationships.
Activity: Ask students to analyse the pictures in the book to infer cause and effect relationships. This activity reinforces the concept and demonstrates how visuals can aid comprehension.

After the Fall Cause & Effect Activities
After the Fall Cause & Effect Activities

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