Kevin Henkes Book Activities for Elementary Teachers – 2024

November is a great time to discuss and explore Kevin Henkes books because that’s when his birthday is, but you can do this any time of the year. This post shares Kevin Henkes book activities that you can use for this purpose. All of the picture books on this list lend themselves to this topic really well. Take a peek below to learn more about these Kevin Henkes books and activities!

6 Kevin Henkes Book Activities

Below is a list of some of our favorite Kevin Henkes books and activities to share with elementary students. Check them out!

1. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Chester and Wilson have their own way of doing things, and they did everything together. They did everything the same way each time. This all changed when Lilly, who has her own way of doing things, moved into the neighborhood. 

Lilly tried to get Chester and Wilson to play with her and to do things her way, but they would not talk to her or engage in her playful activities.

One day, some boys came up to Chester and Wilson and were not being nice to them. Lilly, disguised as a cat, helped them get free of the boys. The three friends mice realize they have lots in common and become great friends.

Check out these Chester’s Way teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

2. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes tells the story about Lilly, a young mouse. Lilly adores her teacher Mr. Slinger and wants to be a teacher just like him when she grows up. 

One day, Lilly gets new sunglasses and a purple purse with coins in it. She brings them to school and is so excited to share them with her class. However, Mr. Slinger tells her she must wait to share them. Lilly has a very hard time waiting and continues to interrupt the class. 

As a result, Mr. Slinger takes her things until the end of the day. Lilly is very angry and writes a mean note to Mr. Slinger and leaves it in his bag. On her way home, Lilly finds a kind note from Mr. Slinger and some treats. Lilly feels very guilty and decides to give a note to Mr. Slinger the next day. That day at school Lilly gets to share her purse and glasses. She is reminded of how much she loves school and Mr. Slinger.

Check out these Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

3. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worries about absolutely everything- from shrinking in the bathtub to losing her parent in the middle of the night. Although her parents and grandmother try to convince her there is nothing she needs to worry about, she is not convinced. Her biggest worry comes when she starts her first day of school. Wemberly is worried about many things when she arrives for her first day. She meets her new teacher, Mrs. Peachum. Mrs. Peachum helps Wemberly feel comfortable by introducing her to a new girl named Jewel. The girls become friends and play together with their special dolls. Wemberly is happy at school and begins to feel less worried.

Check out these Wemberly Worried teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

4. Owen by Kevin Henkes

The story Owen is about a mouse named Owen who loves his blanket Fuzzy. He takes Fuzzy with him everywhere he goes and does everything with Fuzzy. Mrs. Tweezers next door points out that Owen is a little too old for Fuzzy. Owen’s parents try to take Fuzzy away from Owen by using different tricks. However, each time they try to take Fuzzy, Owen is able to save him.

Eventually Owen’s parents tell him that he can’t take Fuzzy to school. Owen cries and cries and his mother thinks of the perfect solution. She turns Fuzzy into handkerchiefs so he still has a part of Fuzzy with him.

Check out these Owen teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

5. Jessica by Kevin Henkes

The story, Jessica, by Kevin Henkes, is about a girl named Ruthie. Ruthie doesn’t have a brother or sister or pets, but she does have her imaginary friend Jessica. Jessica and Ruthie do everything together. They go to the moon, to the playground, to grandma’s and eat, read, and build together. 

When it is time for Ruthie to start kindergarten, her parents say that Jessica should stay home. However, Jessica goes to school with Ruthie, but Jessica wants to go home once she gets there. Ruthie is spending so much time keeping her busy that she is missing everything happening with the real kids at school.

At the end of the story, a real girl named Jessica asks Ruthie if she wants to be her partner. The two girls become great friends and Ruthie doesn’t miss her imaginary friend Jessica.

Check out these Jessica teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

6. A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes

Wendell comes to stay with Sophie and her family in Kevin Henkes’ story A Weekend With Wendell. When Wendell gets to Sophie’s house, he immediately tells her that she doesn’t have enough toys. Then when they play make believe games together, he always has the best parts and decides what they do. 

While Wendell is staying with Sophie, he also takes her whipped cream, wakes Sophie up, and tries to make a long distance call. Sophie keeps asking her parents when he will go home as both her and her parents are annoyed with him. 

Finally, Sophie asks Wendell if he wants to play firefighters and sprays him with the hose. They enjoy playing firefighters together and realize they have the most fun holding the hose together where neither one of them is in charge. When Wendell goes home, he finds a note in his suitcase from Sophie saying she hopes to see him soon.

Check out these A Weekend with Wendell teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of Kevin Henkes book activities helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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