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The Kissing Hand

Sample read aloud

Title: The Kissing Hand
Author: Audrey Penn
Illustrators: Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Publisher: Child and Family Press
Genre: Fiction
Awards: Ed Press Winner
Brief Synopsis:  The Kissing Hand is about a young raccoon named Chester.  Chester is sad and afraid to go to school.  Mrs. Raccoon comforts Chester by showing him the secret of the kissing hand.


The Kissing Hand is an ideal book to read to young children, especially kindergarteners on their first day of school.  I will use The Kissing Hand as a sample read aloud using the procedure I described on the previous page.

Before reading
During reading
After reading
Establishing background-
The first thing I would do is show the children the cover of the book and ask them what they think the book is about based on the cover.  I would ask them if they remember their first day of school and how they felt on that day.  I would then tell them about the author and the illustrators.  Finally, I would introduce the main characters, Chester and Mrs. Raccoon, and the setting.
Expression and gestures-
While reading the story, I would change the tone of my voice for the different characters, Mrs. Raccoon and Chester.  Changing my voice would help the children comprehend the story by helping them understand who is speaking.  I would also show the illustrations as I read.
Discussion questions-
The first thing I would do is ask one child to summarize the story.  Then I would ask the children questions to check if they understood the story.  For example, Who were the main characters?, What was the problem?, How was the problem solved?
I would read the book ahead of time and search for any words that the children might not know.  After reading through the book, possible vocabulary words that I found are: edge, nuzzled, gently, strange, cozy, tingled, toasty, thoughtful, suddenly, familiar, and scamper.
Checking comprehension-
As I read the story, I will encourage children to react to what is happening.  I would ask them questions to check their comprehension, such as, "Why do you think Chester is sad?", "What did Chester's mother do to make him feel better?", "Did Chester feel better?"
Make connections-
The goal is for the chlidren to make connections between the story and their own lives. I could ask them if they remember their first day of school and how they felt.  I could ask them if there was ever a time they were sad and scared and what their parent or guardian did to make them feel better.
I would now ask the chlidren to make predictions about what they think is going to happen in the story.
I would also ask the children to make predictions while I am reading the story.  I could ask them questions such as, "What do you think Chester's mother will do to make Chester feel better?", "Do you think Chester will feel better, or do you think he will still be scared?"
Follow-up activities-
There are a variety of follow-up activities.  I could ask the children to draw a picture of their favorite scene in the book.  I could ask them to write a sentence about their favorite scene.  We could even do an art project where we make handprints and then paste a heart in the middle to make our own kissing hands.

Links Button

Here are some links to websites put up by other teachers with ideas for activities using The Kissing Hand.

The Kissing Hand (Mrs. Fischer's KinderThemes)

The Kissing Hand at The Virtual Vine

Marcia's Lesson Links: The Kissing Hand

Click here to purchase The Kissing Hand from

Red Book, Turning