Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Chair

Teacher’s Guide for
My Chair By Betsy James
Illustrated By Mary Newell DePalma

Pre-reading Activity:
Talk about chairs. How important are they? What are they for? How long do you think they have been around? What are they made out of?
Draw, paint or sculpt a picture of your favorite chair. Share as a group before reading the story.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your favorite chair? Why do you like it so much?
  2. What types of games can you play with only a chair?
  3. What is important about chairs?
  4. Who do you think has the best imagination in the story? Why?
  5. What does the author mean when she says, “In my chair I consider what’s fair?” Do you ever have to consider that too?
  6. Which illustration is your favorite? Why?
  7. How can a chair eat quarters, trucks and colored pencils?
  8. Why is it important that “underneath my chair is where grown-ups aren’t” When might you like to go under a chair?
  9. What could a chair be besides a chair
  10.  How is your favorite chair like others? How is it different?


Art: Using materials found around the house and no bigger than a paper plate create a chair. Then, using the same materials reshape it into one of these other images from the book:


intergalactic zoo
roller skater
dancing bear



Sing this song:

to “Shortening Bread”

Everybody has a chair
Everybody has a chair
Everybody has a chair on the floor
Not on the ceiling (point)
Not on the door (point)
Everybody has a chair on the floor

See if you can make up another song about chairs (or your chair) to one of these familiar tunes:

Frere Jacques
Mulberry Bush
I’m a Little Teapot

Play musical chairs but instead of using identical chairs (boring!) use your imagination and discover what different objects could be used as a chair. (Ex: pillow, rock, block, box, stuffed animal, or even a picture with a chair on it!) After the game discuss which chairs were the best and why.


Brainstorm the qualities you could graph in a chair (color, size, use, etc.) and then have students choose three qualities to graph all the chairs in their own home that evening.


Look at the book:

and then these guidelines to good seating:

Then design a quality chair for yourself or someone in your family. You can draw it on paper or build it from sculpey or other material.

Language Arts:

Write a book inspired by My Chair about your room, bed or favorite spot.

Related Title:

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams