Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
Author: Simms Taback
Illustrator: Simms Taback
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Awards: ALA Notable Children's Book, Caldecott Honor book (2000)
Topics: coat, clothing, dress, Jewish culture, folktales
Summary: A very old overcoat is recycled numerous times into a variety of garments.The story is based on a Yiddish song.
- Poland from Wikipedia
Jewish Culture and Yiddish Folk songs
- Barnyard. Joseph is often found in the barnyard. What animals are in the book? What other animals do you find in a barnyard.
- Fruits and Vegetables. Joseph is surrounded by fruits and vegetables. Can you name them? What fruits and vegetables can you find in your grocery store?
- My Vest or Quilt. Design and decorate your own vest using a paper sack. Retell the story.
- Poland. Joseph lives in Poland. Find Poland on a map. Where is it located? Is it large or small? What's the weather like? What cities are in Poland? Look at photographs from Poland. Do they reflect the images in this story?
- Recycling. Joseph recycled items from his coat. What can you recycle in your home? Write a song!
- Storytelling. Create a flannel board story based on the book. Ask students to retell the story backwards.
- Jewish Clues. Look for clues that reflect Jewish culture, people, and the Yiddish language.
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat from Family Literacy Backpack Project
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat from PBS Cornerstones
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Resources
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Lesson (PDF)
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (PDF) from Scholastic
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