OWEN

Author: Kevin Henkes

Summary: Owen’s fuzzy yellow blanket is his favourite possession. Everywhere Owen goes, his blanket goes with him. When Owen’s parents try to get him to give up his blanket before he starts school, their efforts initially fail. Eventually, however, they come up with a solution that makes everyone happy.

 WITS Connection: Talk it out

WITS Lesson Plan (PDF)


Learning Outcomes

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Questions and Activities

PRE-READING ACTIVITIES

  • Invite students to bring a special or treasured item to school for show and tell or ask them to draw pictures of their special items. Discuss why these items are important to students to help build background knowledge for the story.

PRE-READING QUESTIONS

  1. If you’ve read other Kevin Henkes books with your students, such as Chrysanthemum or A Weekend with Wendell, ask them if they recognize the author’s name. What else has he written? What were the stories about? Are the characters similar? What WITS strategies are in his books?
  2. Kevin Henkes books are about animals who act like people. What is the literary term for this? Personification

POST-READING QUESTIONS

  1. Who is the blanket fairy? What other kind of fairy is said to visit boys and girls?
  2. Why did Mrs. Tweezer think the blanket should go? Why did the author choose that name for her?
  3. Why did Owen need the blanket? What did the blanket represent? Security.
  4. Why did Owen’s parents think it was important for him to give up his blanket?
  5. What was his Mom’s idea?
  6. How did Owen’s parents value his feelings? What would have happened if they took the blanket away?

POST-READING ACTIVITIES

  • Find out more about the author on his website.
  • If you’ve read other Kevin Henkes books with your students, review the characteristics of his writing. He uses repetition, personified mice as characters and humour in language and illustrations. He writes about feelings, anxieties and relationships.
  • Ask students to write a story using Henkes’ writing style that includes characters using a WITS strategy.