Do your students struggle to understand integrity? Read on to find Extra Yarn activities and read-aloud questions that promote principles, perseverance and generosity.
A girl brings colour to her dreary town with her kindness and a magical box of yarn. The themes of Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett include giving without expecting anything in return and how one person can make a positive difference.
You can use Extra Yarn to promote discussions on
Extra Yarn Summary
Annabelle lives in a dark and dreary town. One winter day, she finds a box full of colourful yarn. She knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog. But there is still yarn left.
Annabelle begins to knit sweaters for everyone and everything in town, but every time she finishes a sweater, she still has extra yarn. Annabelle, her yarn and the town become famous. People come from afar to see Annabelle, including an archduke. He offers her millions to buy the box, but she refuses to take the money and keeps knitting.
The angry archduke sends robbers to steal the box of yarn from Annabelle’s home.
When the archduke opens the box, it is empty. Furious, he throws the box into the sea and puts a curse on Annabelle, “You will never be happy again!… The box of yarn finds its way back to Annabelle, who continues to knit.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Walker Books
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- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kankwamba
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Extra Yarn Activities and Resources
I have created literacy graphic organizers for Extra Yarn. You can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. There are many activities for each literacy area to differentiate depending on your student’s ability/age. They include activities for:
- Cause & Effect
- Character Traits and Analysis
- Making Connections
- Point of View
- Problem and Solution
- Retelling, Sequencing and Summarizing
- Inference and Prediction
*Click on these links to discover book recommendations on these topics.
Extra Yarn Activities and Links
- The Prindle Institute for Ethics: Extra Yarn – Teaching Children Philosophy
- Read Aloud Revival: Extra Yarn activities guide
- Reading is Fundamental: Extra Yarn activities
- Weston Woods: Extra Yarn activities
FREE Extra Yarn Activities
Extra Yarn Read-Aloud Questions
Read-aloud sessions are a wonderful way for children to understand the connection between written text and spoken language. You can model reading habits and strategies, reading fluency, tone and eye contact. You can also introduce different genres, authors and illustrators.
- What message is Mac Barnet sharing with the reader by using yarn as the story's main focus?
- How does Jon Klassen use light and dark tones to enhance the storytelling?
- How would you describe Annabelle and the Archduke? Do they have anything in common?
- Why do you think Extra Yarn could be considered folklore? How does the word ‘yarn' connect to this?
- Have you ever made something for someone else? How did you feel? How did they feel?
- Would you have refused the archduke's money like Annabelle? Why or why not?
- In what ways did Annabelle show she cared about her community?
- How did Annabelle change her town from the beginning to the end of the story?
- Anabelle knitted sweaters for those who bullied her. What does this tell you about Annabelle?
- What happened to the archduke after throwing the box of yarn into the sea?
Extra Yarn Video
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