What If Everybody Did That?

As you begin to have discussions about your classroom rules, procedures, and expectations, you might introduce the importance of and the need for rules with Ellen Javernick’s book, What if Everybody Did That? A young boy shouts out during a read aloud, feeds the animals at the zoo, litters on the highway, honks the horn when he grows impatient, splashes too much water at the public pool, and leaves his coat on the floor among many other seemingly benign actions. But the illustrator, Colleen M. Madden, helps us imagine the consequences if everybody committed these supposedly harmless acts. Neighborhoods and roadways become polluted with honking cars, grocery stores become dangerous raceways, zoo animals become sick from overeating, wildlife habitats are overrun with litter, and What If PNGrestaurants and public pools are no longer enjoyable places to visit. The book ends with the boy giving his mom a hug and the author pondering what if everybody did that. It’s a great place for the book to conclude while you segue into discussing the positive actions that everybody in class needs to do to make the classroom work successfully for all students. This book also lends itself to teaching or reviewing cause and effect relationships. Why not teach students that the cause is the reason why something happens and the effect is the result or what happened? Create an anchor chart and have students help you chart the cause and effect that is illustrated on each page. You could also have students write and illustrate an additional set of pages to be added to the book. Their pages could imagine another seemingly harmless action when done in isolation that could easily become a bigger problem if everybody did it. Bind all of the students’ pages together to create a second book. Grab a free bookmark reminder for students here.


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