Officer Buckle and Gloria Retelling Activity

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Two weeks ago, I began my series on creating props to go along with children’s books.  Back in college, I had to take a class on creating activities to go along with children’s books.  Several of the assignments in this class involved creating props to go along with books.  The idea was to have students practice retelling stories using the props.  Throughout the length of the course, I created props for different books. 

This week I am going to talk about the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann.  I think almost all teachers are familiar with this book!  It’s from a well-known author and has also been included in many basal series throughout the years.  If you happen to be new to this book, however, it tells the story of a police officer who tries to teach safety tips to students.  No one wants to listen until the local police department hires a dog.  Once the dog begins tagging along to the police officer’s safety lectures, everyone wants to hear the safety rules!  Soon, the police officer discovers the dog is upstaging him during the lectures and he isn’t too happy.  You will have to read the book to find out what happens!  Officer Buckle and Gloria is a good book choice to use with topics such as vocabulary, main idea, asking questions, making connections, community helpers, and safety rules.

Now, onto the retell props I created for this book! 


First up, are the background scenes.  Officer Buckle and Gloria has two main settings: the Police Department and school auditorium. 
To create the setting backgrounds, I used two science fair board projects.  For the Police Department, I drew a desk and a bulletin board and colored them brown.  The background was painted green.  To finish this Police Department background, I added some safety rules to the bulletin board.
For the school auditorium, I used a black marker to draw the stage and curtains, and then painted it purple, brown, and yellow.
Officer Buckle and Gloria had a few characters to create costumes for.  I used poster board, crayons, and markers for all of the costumes.  Then, I punched holes in the side and attached ribbon.  Students simply place the poster boards on their body and tie them to secure.
Starting at the top left, is Gloria’s costumes.  There is a mask and collar for her.  Below, is the helmet for Claire.
Then, looking at the right.  The purple costume is for Mrs. Toppel, the principal.  Underneath is Officer Buckle’s costume. 
The rest of the class can participate in reading letters, being rule breakers, and/or being in the auditorium audience.  More on this below.

This next sections contains props for the book.  The props for this book were so much fun to make!  The props pictured below should be pretty self-explanatory.  The envelopes are for letters sent to Officer Buckle and Gloria, camera and microphone are for the news crew, telephones for the principal and Officer Buckle, safety rules for the bulletin board, ice cream for Gloria, TV for Officer Buckle’s house, banner for the school, and banana pudding for the school.

Put everything together and you have one REALLY fun retelling activity for your students!  The kiddos will love this one!

To Recap – Materials List:
  • 2 Science Fair Project Boards
  • Paint – Green, Brown, Purple, and Yellow
  • Several Manila Envelopes
  • Poster board (For costumes and props)
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

To Read Part One in this series on the book Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler, click here.