Ruby Reads Books

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: The Trumpet of the Swan

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: The Trumpet of the Swan

Well, we’ve finally done it! For years we’ve tried to keep our offering of Read-Aloud Posters as broad as possible by not making posters for more than one book by the same author. 

That ends with our May Read-Aloud Poster release for The Trumpet of the Swan, the story of Louis, a trumpeter swan who has no voice.  It joins our other E.B. White poster choice, Charlotte’s Web. We hope you’ll agree, he’s a solid choice for our first “duplicated” author, and the two books make a great pairing.


Like all Read-Aloud Posters, our poster for The Trumpet of the Swan balances novel and familiar activities within the unique context of this particular book. We’ll look at the novel activities first (those that will likely be new to even seasoned Read-Aloud Poster users) and then review the familiar activities (we’ve used some variation of the activity of previous posters). After all - if this is your very first poster, it’s all new to you!


Map Activities

Okay, it’s true that we have included different map activities on other Read-Aloud Posters (take a look at Little House in the Big Woods, Number the Stars, and Island of the Blue Dolphins, for example), but this is map includes different areas of the northern United States and Canada, so you’ll be labeling a few new states and bodies of water. So, new? You be the judge.


Location Flags

Location Flags are a fun (completely) new 3-D addition to our map, and the reason we recommend that you plan to complete this poster horizontally (on a table or the floor) rather than on a wall. This poster comes with an extra quarter-sheet containing seven location flags that you’ll cut out, then color, fold, and glue on the map to show the important story settings. We’ve marked out “footprints” on the map to help, but you’ll still need to listen for story clues in order to place each flag correctly.


Character Routes

Louis, Sam Beaver, and Louis’s father all travel among the various book settings. Show their routes on the map using colored lines and making notations along their routes. You can record a lot of the story action this way!


Now, on to some activities that may be familiar to you if you’ve completed other Read-Aloud Posters:


Great Words

One of our favorite features of E.B. White’s writing is his terrific word choice coupled with his ability to seamlessly define unfamiliar words in context. We loved it in Charlotte’s Web (and featured it in our poster!), and we’re doing it again here. Don’t feel pressure to capture every unfamiliar word in this spot! Instead, use it as an opportunity to find and record your favorites.


Swan Facts

Another favorite E.B. White signature from Charlotte’s Web is his use of factual animal details in an inarguably fantasy book. Here, you’ll learn terms for male, female, and baby swans, how long swans eggs incubate, and more Swan Facts. Use this space to record them and, while you’re at it, take a moment to appreciate the author’s craft.

If your family has completed our Charlotte’s Web poster, this is a great time to notice the similarities between the books and the posters. They’re not the same, but they do have some overlap, precisely because they books are by the same author who has a particular style. We designed the posters to highlight these style similarities and let you discuss them.



Chapter Tracker

One of the tried-and-true components of every Read-Aloud Poster that’s incredibly motivating for kids is the chapter tracker. Here, you’ll see a line of musical notes marching across the center of the poster. Color one for each chapter you read, and watch your progress grow!


Character Portraits

We’ve included spaces for you to draw portraits of two characters: one for Sam, and one for Louis. There are also spaces to record character traits, and you’ll have fun drawing Louis’s burgeoning collection of neck-wear as you go!


Discussion Questions

On every poster we provide a few questions to help get you and your readers talking about the book. Feel the freedom to use some or all of our questions, or go in a completely different direction based on the interests of your group. Write answers directly on the poster, or use sticky notes and stack them on the question spot. It’s up to you!


Roll Call and Readers’ Ratings

We start and end all our Read-Aloud Posters with the Readers and Ratings activity. To begin, have everyone sign their names, then close your read-aloud experience with ratings. Remember to ask WHY they gave the book the rating they did. Don’t skip this opportunity to learn about what your kids are enjoying (and not enjoying) about books right now (it can change pretty quickly!). This is great practice for your kids in giving detail to support their opinions, but it’s also important information for you as you try to recommend independent reading selections that they’ll enjoy. 



We know you're going to love it! Let us know what activity you're most looking forward to!

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