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Otis Activities and Lesson Plans for 2022

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for Otis will love this post. It includes information about the book as well as resource recommendations.

With theme of friendship, this Otis picture book by Loren Long is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It is sure to be a big hit in your classroom!

Engage Your Students with Otis Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of Otis.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with Otis reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

OTIS SUMMARY

Otis is a tractor that lives on the farm. He spends his days working in the fields with the farmer. When the work day is over, Otis loves to unwind. He rolls in the hills, plays in the hay, and relaxes under the apple tree. At night, Otis goes to sleep in his stall in the barn.

 

One day, the farmer brings a new baby calf into the barn. At night, she cries for her mother. When the calf hears the gentle purr of Otis’ engine, she is able to calm down and fall asleep. From that day on Otis and the calf were best friends. She followed him everywhere and they enjoyed playing together. But when the farmer gets a big, new tractor, Otis is moved out behind the barn. The new tractor takes his place. Otis spends his days behind the barn, but he no longer plays. Weeds start to grow on him but his friend the calf often visits. She does not like the noise of the new tractor and misses her friend. 

 

On a hot day the calf wanders down to the pond to cool off but gets stuck in the mud. The farmer and farm hands try to pull her out but are unsuccessful. They bring in the new tractor but it scares her and only makes things worse. Even the fire engine can’t get her out. That’s when Otis comes down to the pond and starts circling it. The calf keeps her eyes on Otis and eventually gets out of the pond. 

 

Now Otis has a new role on the farm. He is able to comfort and calm the animals allowing them to produce milk or eggs. He and the calf can once again enjoy the shade of the apple tree overlooking the farm. 

OTIS LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for Otis, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based Otis reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • summarize / retell
  • comparing and contrasting
  • sequencing
  • plot | problem – solution
  • cause and effect

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • friendship

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • prepositions
  • adjectives
  • multiple meaning words
  • commas

OTIS ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
Otis book companion
elementary students sitting on rug spots listening to a picture book being read aloud

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Otis book cover and sequencing worksheet

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for Otis?

  • Lexile® Measure: AD580L
  • Guided Reading Level: L
  • DRA Level: 20 – 24
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 3.3

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written and illustrated by Loren Long.

What genre is Otis?

It is a fantasy book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 40 pages long.

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