Transform Reading Comprehension with A Bad Case of the Stripes Activities
Welcome to this comprehensive guide on A Bad Case of the Stripes activities tailored just for teachers! If you're passionate about boosting literacy skills and encouraging deeper comprehension in your students, you've landed in the right spot. Through Camilla Cream's struggle with peer pressure and self-acceptance, these A Bad Case of the Stripes activities offer a unique way to delve into important themes, inferences, and problem-solving.
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A Bad Case of the Stripes Summary
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but her friends hate them. She worries about what others think of her and wants to fit in. One morning, Camilla wakes up with a bad case of the stripes. Her doctor doesn't know the cause and sends her to school. Her classmates laugh at her and call her names. When Camilla says the Pledge of Allegiance, she turns into the American Star and Stripes flag.
Her parents call in the experts who give Camilla medicine, which turns her into a pill. Another expert tells her to breathe and become one with her room, and she does, literally! Only when an old lady helps Camilla admit the truth does she feel confident to be herself and not bow to peer pressure.
A Bad Case of the Stripes Activities
The A Bad Case of the Stripes book promotes self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-expression and reflects on the effects of peer pressure and being free to make your own decisions without worrying about what others may think. As a teacher, you can use A Bad Case of the Stripes activities to teach about cause and effect, author's purpose, inferences, theme, character development, making connections and more.
This post will focus on A Bad Case of the Stripes activities for themes, problem & solution and inference.
A Bad Case of the Stripes Read-Aloud Questions
These comprehension questions encourage your students to think critically about A Bad Case of the Stripes story, character development, plot progression, and underlying themes, helping to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.
I have over 100 questions to use before, during and after reading A Bad Case of the Stripes in this activity pack.
Here are some questions you can ask before reading the book.
- Why was Camilla Cream worried about the first day of school? What does this tell us about her character?
- What were some of the different patterns and shapes that appeared on Camilla's skin?
- Why do you think Camilla started changing into whatever the other children at school said she looked like?
- How did the doctors and specialists try to cure Camilla? Were they successful? Why or why not?
- Why do you think the author chose to have Camilla become a pill after the doctors tried to treat her?
- Who is the older woman in the story, and how does she help Camilla?
- What was the one thing that finally cured Camilla? Why do you think this worked when nothing else did?
- What lesson did Camilla learn by the end of the story?
- How did Camilla change from the beginning of the story to the end?
- Can you relate to Camilla's experience in any way? Have you ever felt pressured to fit in like she did?
A Bad Case of the Stripes Character Trait Activities
A Bad Case of the Stripes is an excellent tool for teaching character analysis in the classroom due to its well-developed characters and exploration of themes. Here's why:
Complex Main Character: Camilla Cream is a complex character who undergoes significant changes throughout the story. She starts as a girl overly concerned about what others think of her, transforming into various colours and patterns. By the end, she learns to embrace her individuality.
Activity: Have students identify different traits of Camilla Cream, the protagonist, at various points in the story. This can include her physical changes and emotional journey from worrying about what others think to embracing her individuality.
Character Development: The transformation of Camilla provides an opportunity to analyse how characters can evolve throughout a story. Students can examine her actions, words, and decisions to understand her development.
Activity: Discuss with students how Camilla changes throughout the story. Encourage them to use evidence from the text to support their observations. This can help them understand the concept of character development.
Character Motivation: Understanding why Camilla hides her love for lima beans is a great exercise in analysing character motivation. It can lead to discussions about peer pressure, conformity, and authenticity.
Activity: Analyse why Camilla does what she does. For example, why is she so worried about what others think? Why does she hide her love for lima beans? This can lead to a discussion about peer pressure and the importance of being true to oneself.
Supporting Characters: The other characters in the book, such as Camilla's parents, her classmates, and the various doctors and experts, offer additional opportunities for character analysis.
Activity: Have students analyse the roles and behaviours of Camilla's parents, her classmates, and the doctors. Each character offers different perspectives and reactions to Camilla's condition, revealing their personalities and attitudes.
Illustrations: The book's illustrations can also be used to analyse characters further. For example, the changing colours and patterns on Camilla's body visually represent her emotional state and internal conflict.
Activity: Use the book's illustrations as part of your character analysis. Ask students to notice how the visual elements reflect Camilla's internal state and changes.
A Bad Case of the Stripes Inference Activities
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon offers ample opportunities for students to draw inferences from the text, images, and subtext.
Understanding Characters: The book provides an opportunity to understand characters deeply. Students can infer why Camilla loves lima beans but doesn't eat them or why her stripes change colours. They can also infer how she is feeling based on her actions.
Activity: Create a character map for students to record their observations about Camilla and other characters. They should note what the character says and how others react to them. They can then use this information to infer the character's personality traits, emotions, and motivations.
Predicting Outcomes: The book helps students to predict what might happen next. For instance, they can predict how Camilla's condition might change throughout the story.
Activity: Before reading each section, ask students to predict what will happen next based on what they've read. After reading, have them confirm or adjust their predictions. This encourages them to think critically about the story's progression.
Identifying Themes: A Bad Case of the Stripes book deals with peer pressure, individuality, and self-acceptance. Students can infer these themes from the story's events and characters' actions.
Activity: Have students identify recurring patterns or ideas in the story. Then, ask them to summarise what the patterns suggest and provide evidence from the text to support their inferences.
Analyzing Illustrations: The illustrations provide additional information about the story and help students infer Camilla's feelings and situation.
Activity: Conduct a ‘Picture Walk' where students flip through the book, looking only at the pictures. Based on the images, they should write down what they think is happening in the story. Afterwards, read the book and see how their inferences align with the text.
Understanding the Author's Message: The story is a metaphor for accepting oneself and not succumbing to peer pressure. Students can infer this message from the story.
Activity: Ask students to write a personal reflection on what they believe is the author's message in the story. They should provide evidence from the text to support their inference.
A Bad Case of the Stripes Problem-Solution Activities
A Bad Case of the Stripes presents several problems requiring solutions, providing ample opportunities for students to practice problem-solving.
Understanding the Problem: The first step in problem-solving is understanding the problem. In the case of this story, students can identify the problem Camilla faces (her changing appearances) and the underlying cause (her fear of being different).
Activity: Facilitate a discussion where students identify the main problem in the story. Have them discuss why it is a problem and what caused it to help them understand the importance of correctly identifying a problem before attempting to solve it.
Generating Solutions: The story requires the reader to think of potential solutions to Camilla's problem. This encourages creative thinking and brainstorming, essential aspects of problem-solving.
Activity: Have students write down as many potential solutions to Camilla's problem as possible. Encourage them to consider both practical and imaginative solutions, promoting creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Evaluating Solutions: Not all solutions are viable or effective. Students can learn to evaluate their generated solutions by considering each outcome in the story's context.
Activity: Ask students to weigh the pros and cons of each solution they've generated. They can then rank the solutions based on effectiveness, helping them understand the evaluation process in problem-solving.
Implementing Solutions: The story's resolution exemplifies a successful solution implementation. Camilla solves her problem by finally being true to herself and eating the lima beans she loves.
Activity: Have students write a short narrative describing how they would implement their chosen solution if they were Camilla. This will help them understand the steps needed to implement a solution.
Reflecting on the Outcome: After a problem has been solved, reflecting on the outcome and process is important. Students can infer from the story whether Camilla's solution was effective and what she might have learned from the experience.
Activity: Discuss the effectiveness of Camilla's solution and what they've learned about problem-solving from her experience. This encourages them to apply what they've learned to future problem-solving situations.