Bella's Rules

Tips for "Bella's Rules"

As You Read:

Bella knows the rules at home.... she just chooses to follow her own rules. It's all fun and games until Puppy doesn't like following the rules either and they must start training Puppy. Be sure to be animated as your read, taking on the roles of each character along the way using voices and gestures for each. Adopt a special voice for Bella and act like an excited puppy when reading the portions of the story that Puppy is in. This will keep your child engaged and enjoying the story. Also, talk to your child as you go about the behavior of Bella and her puppy, asking "Why aren't they following the rules? What makes Bella realize that Puppy needs to be taught to follow the rules?" 


Extending the Story:

What rules do you have in your home? Talk about the rules you have and why you maintain them. If your child understands the purpose for a rule, they are more likely to abide by it. Whether or not your child has trouble following the rules, you can help by adding a game element to good behavior. One way to do this is by creating a chart that lists all of the rules that you have in your home. Help your child by discussing each rule and then have him/her illustrate that rule on the chart. Even if your child can't read, the chart (and their illustrations) will visually remind them of what is expected. Of course, there will be deviations and bad behavior but clear expectations can be helpful. Be sure to let your child know that you don't make rules just for fun, but you have them to keep everyone safe and happy. Talk about how Bella learned this lesson when she realized that even she wanted the Puppy to behave better when it started gnawing at her doll.

Other Useful Tips

Before You Begin Reading, Preview the Story and Discuss

Take a moment to explore the cover and illustrations and give your child a chance to make observations and predictions before beginning the read-through. Throughout this guide, there are several questions and prompts that you can use as you read, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Use prompts and questions like:

  • What is happening on the cover?

  • What do you think the story will be about based on the title and the cover?

  • {Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


As You Read, Explore New Vocabulary

Whether you're reading the story or your child is reading it him/herself, take time to stop whenever s/he comes across a new word. Read the word slowly several times as you underline the word with your finger. Then, ask your child what s/he thinks the word might mean. Instruct him/her to use the words and illustrations surrounding it to try and glean the meaning. Work together to discover the word's meaning, and then try to integrate it into your daily conversation to help reinforce these new vocabulary words. 


After Reading, Make Connections

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who were the main characters, and where were the primary settings? What happened and why did those things happen in the story? Ask your child the following questions to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

  • Did you like that story? What was your favorite part? Why?

  • What lesson do you think the main character(s) learned?

  • What does {vocabulary word} mean?

  • {Discuss alternatives to the storyline} What would have happened if...?

  • I wonder why...