Gail Weiser

October 11, 1999

Post #953 – 19991011

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

Each year I read THE HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY to my fourth grade class. It takes the place of their formal text book reading lessons for five days. They take notes and do short comprehension checks each day. They also learn about commas in a series, proper nouns, adjectives, quotation marks and math word problems in lessons based on the story. The music teacher teaches them the Chicken Dance and to sing chicken songs. The art teacher does Polish paper cuttings of scenes from the book. This all takes place in five days. We then have an actual test on the book. This year everyone passed!! Then, we have our Chicken Day Celebration. We see the movie, which is delightful ,and we eat loads of “CHICKEN FOOD”. The kids volunteer to create a menu of snacks based on the book. We have had deviled eggs, hard boiled eggs, fried wings, bug juice, cupcakes with a gummy worm coming out of the top, chicken beaks (candy corn), chicken feed (pop corn and sunflower seeds), Henrietta’s potato chips, ants on a log (celery stuffed with peanut butter and garnished with raisins), bacon and eggs (pretzel sticks topped with a white chocolate circle and a yellow M&M), jelly eggs, and plates, napkins, and cups with chickens and the word CLUCK hand painted on them. The kids bring their rubber and stuffed chickens and I wear my chicken earrings. This year the cafeteria menu also listed Fried Chicken on the Chicken Celebration Day. The kids were very impressed! We also read you interview in our reading book, and we all agreed that you are pretty weird ,and you are certainly not boring !All the kids said that they would like you for a friend because you would make them laugh a lot!!!!


Ms. Gail Weiser, Fourth Grade Teacher at Mannington Township School in Salem, NJ

p.s. If you ever come across the Delaware Memorial Bridge and have an hour to spare, come say hello. We are a tiny school of only 200 kids in this farming area of Salem County. There is one fourth grade, with only 11 kids this year. We are the room at the end of the hall with the feet hanging over the door. You would love our country air, and you can see wild turkeys, bald eagles, lots of deer, and swans in our Mannington Meadows. A wild turkey hatched 14 eggs right next to the kindergarten fence last spring. We called her Zena because she never left her nest ,even when the farmer plowed 3 feet away or the students peered down into her nest from over the fence. She carried her babies on her back when they were tiny ,and later led them all around the playground. This summer when the doors of the school were left open to let in some air, she led her babies in and down the hallway causing quite a mess! So you see, we live in a pretty wild place. It would have been a good place to Henrietta. Remember, you are welcome any time.

Daniel replies:

Polish paper cuttings? Where do you get the Polish paper? I wish I were in your fourth grade. Sounds so wonderful. You know there's a new and improved edition of the book, yes? New drawings--much better.