by Margery Williams

he Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale, suitable for all ages, kindergarten through adult. It tells the story of stuffed toy rabbit, made of soft velveteen, which arrives in a boy’s room as a holiday present. At first it is difficult for the other toys in the boy’s nursery to accept him. Another toy, the wise old skin horse, sees the love between the rabbit and the boy and tells the Velveteen Rabbit to expect a wonderful change called “real,” which can only happen through the love of a child. The little rabbit stays with the boy, sleeping with him and listening to him. Even when the boy is stricken with scarlet fever,the Velveteen Rabbit stays cuddled in the boy’s arms, because he has been taught that we don’t leave our friends when they are broken. Although the boy recovers, the doctor orders that all his bedding as well as the rabbit, be burned to prevent spread or re-infection. While awaiting his fate, out on the trash pile, the Velveteen Rabbit sees real rabbits running and playing. Somehow he knows that he will never see the boy again and his tears of sadness over this loss cause him to be visited by a fairy, who turns him into a real rabbit. As a real rabbit, he spends his days playing near the boy’s home, and seeing him from time to time. — Marianne Sweeney, Teacher


All activities are linked to Oregon State Benchmarks. .or Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements, use the link below (in PD. format):

. • There are some toys that children want to have with them always. I would want to become a real boy or girl. • Children discard old toys when they get new ones. Scarlet fever: Contagious bacterial disease that causes a dark red rash and a high fever.alse? • If I were a doll. ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ True or . squeeze. Some ideas may change. drag and are often rough with dolls that they love.URTHER STUDY: bracken fronds Contagious: Something that spreads rapidly from person to person.N Meeting Standards in Reading DISCUSSION/ COMPREHENSION ACTIVITIES ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ VOCABULARY Velveteen: A cotton fabric that is made to look like satin and velvet. • Children talk to their stuffed toys. • Children hug. burrows mechanical clockwork sensitive commonplace shabbier disinfected twitched ANTICIPATION GUIDE Reading: Making Connections Use these true/false statements to introduce ideas and Reading: Literal Comprehension encourage students to think about issues they may confront All Grades while viewing the play or reading the book. (See Notes 1) Reading:Word Meaning All Grades ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Before the Play WORDS . • It’s hard to hug a toy that is hard and sharp.OR . It is a good idea to answer these both before and after viewing the play or reading the book.

Ask open questions to Grades K and up encourage children to engage and respond. Before the Velveteen Rabbit. (conceptualize) 3. What does the Velveteen Rabbit think are the (good things) benefits of becoming real? What do you think might be the costs of this change? [A “+/-” chart helps here. Name some other toys in the Boy’s room. Are there any “real” characters in this play? Which ones? 3. What toys had sharp edges? What toys might break easily? d. does it feel the same kind of pain that you would feel if you cut yourself ? d. Others might offer the process: He listens as the boy tells him what is in his heart…even secrets. analyze) 4.] .] h. Ask focused questions to elicit and organize specific information. and the fairy finished making him real by making it visible. Ask broad questions to help children learn to draw conclusions. Which toy told the Velveteen Rabbit about becoming real? e. c. generalize) STEP 1: ASK: 1. what was the newest toy in the Boy’s room? b. a. characters and ideas. What happens to the boy in this play? e. The rabbit stays with the boy even when the boy is “broken” with illness.DISCUSSION/ COMPREHENSION ACTIVITIES ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ TEACHER TO TEACHER: MORE ABOUT “ASKING QUESTIONS” Use the following pattern in Reading: Inferential Comprehension asking questions: Reading: Making Connections 1. The boy depends upon him. Ask connecting questions to help children learn to see the relationships between events. a. The deep sadness the rabbit feels when they are separated brings tears to his eyes and releases a fairy who magically changes him into the real bunny. What does the Velveteen Rabbit do for the boy? f. How is the boy different from the Velveteen Rabbit? c. (conceptualize. If a stuffed toy gets a small tear in its fabric. How does the Velveteen Rabbit become real in this story? [Some children may offer that he became real when he cried. (synthesize. What did he mean? How does a toy become real in this play? f. How are the real bunnies different from the Velveteen Rabbit? b. How do you think life will be different for the Velveteen Rabbit as a “real” rabbit? g. Will he change? Will he grow? Will he feel pain? Will he feel the pain of loss? i. ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ After the Play 2. What did you notice during the play? What impressed you? 2. Record their responses so that they can see what others are thinking.

Why? [He wants to matter. Being alive. It’s actually difficult. not a complete sentence) Line 5: one word that means the same thing as the first word. 5. He doesn’t want to be discarded and forgotten.Being real doesn’t happen to toys who break easily.” But the Velveteen Rabbit still wants to become real. Draw a picture of what you think the Velveteen Rabbit’s life was like after he became real.Being real doesn’t happen to toys who break easily. In the words of the play. happiness. “…. Real living things can change.” c. Make a Venn Diagram showing the differences and similarities between a live and a stuffed bunny. 4.. or have to be carefully kept.] THE BIG IDEA STEP 2: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER IN DI. Real living things can feel pain. He wants to be cared about. doesn’t always feel good. A cinquain (See Notes Writing: Modes & Forms 2) is a five-line poem that is written like this: Writing: Structure Information Line 1: one word to name the subject Writing: Conventions Art: Create. Compose a cinquain about the Velveteen Rabbit or a Literature: Literary Forms Writing: Knowledge of Topic favorite stuffed toy of your own. Write a story about your favorite toy coming to life. Write and perform a dialogue between the real rabbit and the boy.. Say or write a sentence that tells what you think about being “real”. for real. “…. Real living things can grow. have sharp edges. Present.ERENT WAYS: Reading: Inferential Comprehension 1. have sharp edges. or have to be carefully kept.. or a word that sums it all up ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ 2.4. 3. What does this story tell you about true friendship? b. Real life isn’t perfect. loss and love. Include a caption with your picture. Perform Line 2: two words to describe it Line 3: three action words about it Grades K-6 Line 4: a four or five word phrase describing the subject (a thought. What does it mean when the skin horse says. a. .]. Portland. or a live one. Northridge. . costumes. this activity may be part of a larger unit: Letters are written by older students and received by K-2 students. The Boy Skin Horse Mechanical Toys Nana The Doctor Velveteen Rabbit Reading:All Categories Literature: Literary Elements/Devices Writing:All Categories Grades 7-12 ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ 2. Be sure to include information about experience. and toys in the story. Putting it all together (above) have each student write a single paragraph that tells whether s/he would prefer a stuffed bunny. children. If you have a classroom connection between older and younger students. This paragraph must include a topic sentence and simple supporting facts and details. The Velveteen Rabbit. Writing:All categories Grades K-5 ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ 2. Write a letter to the boy from the Velveteen Rabbit after he became real. then read with assistance from the older children Choices will be made by the younger “hiring” committees as to which toys will join the toy box. button nose for Eskimo kisses. character foils. growing up. Identify protagonists.csun. 4. Think about the set design. • Compare and contrast the belief systems of adults. antagonists. becoming real. Include written labels that explain what the different parts of the toy will do [floppy ears for listening long into the night. acting. appearance. OR 97205. Themes/Symbols (select two for written analysis) • Analyze themes such as: friendship. speech. Write a letter applying for a position in a child’s toy box. Explain what life is like now and what s/he misses about being his Velveteen Rabbit. Write a letter to Oregon Children’s Theatre telling them what you thought of the production. Referring to the Venn Diagram in Step 2. arms for big hugs. believing in yourself magic. acceptance.html Meeting Standards in Writing WRITING ACTIVITIES 1. qualifications and special talents. Send to OCT at 600 SW 10th Ste 215. and general purpose in the story. 5. Design a stuffed animal toy for yourself or a little child. Pretend you are a toy. • How and where does the author use foreshadowing? The above assignments were taken from a Literary Discussion Guide for college students by Pat Swenson at Cal State. etc. Characters (select two for written analysis) Define characters by their actions. 3. or any questions you might have. etc.or the Older Students 1.

reeman • The Runaway Bunny. and after reading the book. author information.htm This is an Etext transcription of the whole story.99 from Teacher Created Materials (Level: Intermediate. Cinquains How to write a Cinquain: This Girl Scout site has instructions and a colorful example. unit A Guide for Using The Velveteen Rabbit in the Classroom: This guide may be purchased for $7. sectional activities and http://jfg. by Don . Grades: 3–5. There is a very useful rabbit puppet cutout available here for free. Corduroy. This resource is directly related to its literature equivalent and filled with a variety of cross-curricular lessons to do before.NOTES it is used whenever a velvet look is desired.htm 2. http://www. during.un School” mini unit on The Velveteen Rabbit is available here.unl. http://www. What is velveteen? Velveteen is made from cotton or a cotton-blend fabric that has a short dense LINKS floral or paisley designs. As a medium weight fabric. by Margaret Wise Brown • The Giving Tree. cross-curriculum A Houghton Mifflin Eduplace Teacher View.writepage.html “The Language of Lagomorphs” Copyright © 1999 Eric Mercer is not to be missed! It explains what your pet bunny means when it signals you in different ways. The Velveteen Rabbit. version of the Table of Contents and a sample activity from this page. Although the teaching ideas are clever. It is easier to sew and more durable than You may download a PD. and ideas for culminating and extending the story. by Katy Smith.eduplace. by Margery Williams. many of the links are no longer by Carlo Collodi . This reproducible book includes sample plans. Pages: 48).buyteachercreated.easyfunschool.muridae.html Teacher Cyber Guide for The Velveteen Rabbit.sdcoe. by Shel Silverstein • An “Easy . They are all interesting.ianr. but this “sadness and fear page” on the same site is really special! http://www. closely set pile. It is woven in a single layer with an extra set of filling yarns that are cut to form the short. http://www. http://www. Velveteen is available in solid colors and printed with plaid. by John Mark Ockerbloom.URTHER READING . http://www. vocabulary building ideas.

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