Better Nate Than Ever

Tips for "Better Nate Than Ever"

As You Read:

Encourage your child to stop when s/he gets to an unfamiliar word. See if s/he can discover its meaning by using context clues (the words surrounding it) or by analyzing word parts such as prefixes and suffixes. Be sure to keep a “Vocabulary Journal” nearby when reading so that your child can write down new words, that s/he has either already defined or wishes to look up in the dictionary. These words may be theater terminology or just general words, but go over the list after reading and try to incorporate them into your everyday conversations to reinforce learning.


Extending the Story:

The author of this story, Tim Federle, is actually a real-life Broadway dancer and choreographer who worked on the hit musical "Billy Elliot". You can see Federle talk about "Better Nate Than Ever" and his background in the arts. You can watch the movie version of "Billy Elliot" and talk to your child about the similarities between "Billy Elliot" and "Better Nate Than Ever." There is some crude language in the movie so keep that in mind when deciding to watch the movie.

Other Useful Tips

Before Your Child Begins Reading, Create a K-W-L Chart

Create a K-W-L Chart and have your child fill in the first two columns with information that s/he knows and wants to find out about the story. S/he can fill in the last column, "What I Learned", once s/he has finished the story.

What I Know

After reading the description on the back cover, discuss what your child already knows about the subject matter. Answer questions like "Who is the main character? Where does the story take place? What is the general premise?" Encourage him/her to describe what s/he sees on the cover that will tell him/her more about the story.

What I Want to Know

This section can be filled with questions that your child would like to have answered while reading the story.


After Reading, Consider Asking Your Child These Questions

  1. If you were to draw a picture of the story, what details would you include?
  2. What was the problem of the story? How was it solved?
  3. Which character did you identify with? Why?
  4. What questions did you have as you were reading?
  5. What do you think the author wanted you to learn from this story? Why do you think the author chose to end the story the way he/she did?
  6. What would you have done if you had been __________ during that part of the story?
  7. In your own words, what does _______ (insert vocabulary word) mean?
  8. Was ________ a good title for this story? Why?
  9. If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be? Why?