In The Cricket in Times Square, a cricket named Chester is trapped in a picnic basket. The picnic-goers travel on a commuter train from the Connecticut countryside to Times Square in New York City. While in the city, Chester makes friends with a cat, mouse, and young boy. In this heartwarming tale, Chester charms everyone with his ability to chirp familiar songs. The whole city stops and listens as Chester performs concerts.
Read this wonderful book to learn of Chester’s fate.
The Cricket in Times Square Activities
The Cricket in Times Square Unit Samples
Check out this unit with these samples:
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1
- Comprehension Questions for Chapter 1
- Constructed Response Question – Onomatopoeia
Teaching Idea #1 ~ Clothespin Cricket
This clothespin craft is a great way for students to begin a unit on The Cricket in Times Square. This fun activity builds interest in the story.
Best of all, the craft is made with common materials that many teachers have in their craft supply closets.
- tissue paper wings
- clothes pin body
- green pipe cleaner legs
- wiggle eyes
Teaching Idea #2 ~ Strawberry Sodas
After reading about Mario and Chester’s trip to the soda shop, students made their own strawberry soda following the instructions listed in the book. Try making your own strawberry soda the way Mickey made it.
Page 38 – Mickey took a tablespoon and put a drop of strawberry syrup into it. He added a drop of cream, a squirt of soda water, and a dip of ice cream about as big as your fingernail. That is how you make a cricket’s strawberry soda.
Teaching Idea #3 ~ Chinese Dinner
After Chester eats the two-dollar bill, Mario decides he must go to Chinatown and find out what is wrong with Chester. While visiting Sai Fong’s shop, Mario is invited for dinner. Mario tries all sorts of wonderful foods that are described in the novel.
Having a Chinese dinner after reading about Mario’s Chinese dinner was great fun! The science lab was decorated with Chinese lanterns and fans. We ordered take-out from a local Chinese restaurant and enjoyed trying to eat with chopsticks.
Teaching Idea #4 ~ The Cricket in Times Square Audiobook
Teaching Idea #5 ~ Writing Prompts
Debate activity: Have students debate the merits of living in the city versus living in the countryside, using the perspectives of the characters in the book as a starting point.
Friendship: Discuss the theme of friendship in the book and have students write about a time when they made a new friend.
Newspaper article: Have students write a newspaper article from the perspective of one of the characters in the story, reporting on the events of the book.
Teaching Idea #7 ~ Draw a Cricket and Cat
Students love following step-by-step drawing instructions. This website provides beautiful results.
Rose Gauss has a terrific website with step-by-step illustrations for some of the characters in The Cricket in Times Square. Check out these pages on her site.
Once students draw a cricket and cat have them try their hand at creating Mario and Tucker using the same drawing style.
See the product that inspired this post.
The Cricket in Times Square Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.