Peter Gutierrez
Montclair, New Jersey

Overview Narrative boxes are completely absent from Jack and the Box, allowing emergent readers to focus on the visual storytelling and dialogue. Students are given the opportunity to act as narrator while developing visual literacy and speaking skills.
Subject English Language Arts
Grade Level 1
Suggested Time 45 minutes
Objectives Students will verbally narrate a story by providing exposition and transitions that both connect and describe events that are conveyed in mostly visual terms.
Before Reading Preview the book with students, drawing attention to the graphic format. You may even want to make explicit Jack and the Box’s lack of non-dialogue text by contrasting it with another book (graphic or not) in a side-by-side manner. Explain to students that they themselves will be able to act as the storyteller or narrator. Model the process by using the splash page and saying, “If I were telling this story, I could say, ‘One day when they were all at home, Jack’s parents surprised him with a present...’
During Reading Allow students time to read each page silently, clarifying content as needed. Then invite them to narrate what might usually be found in opening panel captions (or remain outside quotation marks in a prose story). Throughout, encourage students to listen closely to what their peer narrators say. Would they change anything in the description of the event or the transition between events? If so, give them the opportunity to provide an alternate narration.
After Reading Conclude by having students summarize the story and by answering any final questions they might have. Then distribute the activity sheet for assessment and reinforcement.