Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: What’s What?: A Guessing Game


Introduction and Summary
The book What’s What? A Guessing Game by Mary Serfozo is an interactive book that keeps children guessing.  They need to use their previous knowledge and skills to guess what will come next in the book.  The book starts off with one page asking “What’s hard?” The children then guess what it might be, and the next page says “A sidewalk is hard as a rock or a wall. So look out where you fall!”  There is a picture of a child who was roller-blading and fell down on a sidewalk hurting himself.  This book shows children who have experimented with different things such as things that are hard, soft, warm, cold, dry, wet, long, short, light and dark.  On the wet page, it shows a child going out to play in the rain with a raincoat and galoshes on as he steps in the puddles getting all wet.  What I like about this book is that on each page it depicts children actually doing or participating in activities or experiments as they get a hands on look at some of the topics. At the end of the book, it shows a cute puppy and that the puppy can be all of the things listed above.

Curriculum Connections
This book provides a direct representation of some experiments, physical characteristics and attributes, as well as the 5 senses (VA SOL K.1.a and K.2.a,b).  The simple pictures in the book which match to the simple words and sentences make it an appropriate book for younger children (VA SOL K.1.k). The format of the book is in questions and answer format. The book asks a question “What’s warm?” and then before you turn the page, the children have a chance to make predictions about what is warm (VA SOL K.1.g).  This book is very simple and keeps things easy and interesting for the children.

Additional Resources
1. Guessing Game Lesson Plan– This is a very short lesson plan idea. It is a great idea for an activity for the first week of school.  It helps to get the children excited about what they will be learning in school. Also, after you read the book, you could use this activity as an introduction to the lesson plan for the day.
2. 5 Senses Lesson Plan-This page offers a lesson plan idea for learning about the 5 senses. The book touches on all of the five senses and this would be a lesson to bounce off of the senses discussed in the book.
3. 5 Senses Activity Book-This website offers pages for children to trace and then color.  Each page has one of the 5 senses on it along with an example ( like hearing a a bee buzz by). It would be a good idea to have the children complete all of them and then staple them together to make booklet.

General Information
What’s What?: A Guessing Game
Author: Mary Serfozo
Illustrator: Keiko Narahashi
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1996
Grade Range: K or 1
ISBN: 0689833229

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