Jack the Tripper by Gene Barretta – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

I am sharing a book a day for the next 30+ days. Picture books that can be used to teach literary skills to middle or high school students. Just because they are in the older grades doesn’t mean that picture books can’t be a great resource on its own or as a paired passage. Here is #18


Jack the Tripper – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

Description from Amazon:
A mysterious villain is tripping the poor, innocent students at Dizzie Day Elementary School. They’re tripping; they’re flipping; they’re flying through the air! Worst of all, they’re losing their homework as they fall. The whole town is in a frenzy searching for the boot-wearing culprit . . . until one student makes a startling confession.
          With vivid illustrations—and plenty of clues for readers to do their own detective work—Gene Barretta has created a hilarious, creepy tale about the perils (and sometime rewards!) of following the crowd.


Literary Skills that can be taught with the book Jack the Tripper?


headmaster, jittery, cranny, devastating, chimed

Chronological Order
Write a timeline of the tripping events from Monday to Friday.

Figurative Language
What figurative language is used to describe Polly, “Her feet felt as heavy as stones” and “Her legs were as wiggly as worms.”
Why does the author use figurative language to describe Polly this way?

Why does Polly say someone tripped her and took her book report when she enters the class? What can you infer about the other children when they are tripped also?
Who is the masked tripper? How does the phrase “Anything Goes” help you figure out who he is?
Why doesn’t the headmaster believe the children when Polly is tripped for real?

What conflict did Polly face in her struggle to tell the truth about the tripper and her lost homework?

Will the children be able to keep up the stories of tripping or get caught? What will happen at the Dizzie Day Parade with Jack the Tripper on the loose?

Author’s Purpose
Why does the author/illustrator decide to put Polly in the Pinocchio costume?

Pair Passage
Nonfiction article on Jack the Ripper, historical piece that is age appropriate

Extension Activity
Create a wanted poster for Jack the Tripper using text evidence.

Jack the Tripper can be found on Amazon click HERE

Want more? There is more and can be found on the resource at TpT.

Follow this blog and my TpT store for more great picture books to teach to secondary students.

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