Reading with The Creature of Habit

Reading the book The Creature of Habit by Jennifer E. Smith and illustrated by Leo Espinosa, was a fun read-aloud for my children. We bought this book last year, and we have been reading it regularly ever since. Somehow we have just now done activities with this book. So here are our five favorite things to do to make great brain connections before, during, and after reading The Creature of Habit. I assure you- your little learners will agree it’s worth the read. 

Free Resource for The Creature of Habit on TPT

For the handouts seen below please visit my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s page for the free PDF of these activities.

Make Your Own Creature 

I pulled out craft supplies from the closet and re-read the book while my children designed their own characters for their book version. They loved mirroring the sizes of the two main characters in this book and comparing and contrasting their creatures with those in the book. It led us to the next idea: write and illustrate their own story. 

Create a New Version of the Story The Creature of Habit

I made a simple story layout on and left lines and picture boxes for the children to fill in. My daughter struggled to write, so I was her scribe to get her elaborate story onto paper before she forgot it. Usually, I would have recorded her story so we could have slowly gone back and worked on encoding the spelling together. But this worked for today. After writing the story on the outline drawing pages, the kids and I worked online to add background, details, and sentences to their story.

Story of the Day 

I found some fun images from to use for this writing activity. We have been working on CVC reading and writing, so this activity lent itself to practicing this skill. Students use the lines provided to write a story to describe the image. 

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Field Trip to the Beach

After reading the book, we jumped into the car; the same day, we made our creatures and headed to the beach to “Say hello to the fish! Hello, fish!” The children loved this part of the book most of all. Also, we had to try collecting things from the ocean as the new creature does in the book. 

The Sequence of Events Drawings

In working on our oral comprehension, I like to have a book talk about reading. We have read this book many times, yet each time we go back and find more details in the story and illustrations to recall and share. In reviewing the sequence of events, I also checked for their understanding of cause and effect, though that wasn’t the main focus.

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Creature Word Scramble

We have been working on R- Controlled words and reviewing Magic E/ Mommy E words. So I used the letters from the word creature to build a quick activity to practice spelling words using these skills. I start by reviewing letter sounds and then make two-letter words. Eventually, the words build larger until we find the word that includes all the letters given. 

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Creature Pointers

These simple monster illustrations from can be used as letter/sound markers for decoding tricky words, to pointers for tracking words while reading. I plan to make another set for a math activity for subtraction and graphing. I’ll change the size for a size comparison lesson as well. They can also be used for a symmetry math lesson. You can cut the creature visual in half and scramble the parts on the table. Then have students pair them back up with their mirrored image to check for symmetry. 

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