Teacher Guide for Annie’s Special Day

Teacher Guide for Annie’s Special Day

Annie's Special Day book cover w/ Clara as author

Annie’s Special Day book cover

This classroom guide for Annie’s Special Day is designed for students in preschool through second grade. It generally follows the guidelines for Common Core in the classroom. Download a free Teacher’s Guide.

It offers activities to help teachers integrate Annie’s Special Day into English language arts (ELA), and Common Core in  mathematics, science, and social studies curricula. Art and drama are used as a teaching tool throughout the guide.

Reading Comprehension:

Before you read or listen to Annie’s Special Day, look at the cover.

  • What do you think the book will be about? Why do you think so?
  • Can you find clues in the illustration?
  • Now read or listen to the book.
  • Who is the main character? Why do you think so?
  • Who are some of the other characters?
  • What is Annie doing?
  • What is the main activity of the book?

Let’s talk about the people who made Annie’s Special Day.

  • Who is the author?
  • Who is the illustrator?

What kind of work did each person do to make the book?

The illustrator, the publisher, the author, the book designer.

Take a closer look at the illustrations of Annie’s Special Day.

  • What is happening in each illustration?
  • What are some details that the illustrator added to tell the story?

Action! Learning about Time!

Annie’s Special Day is a book about a little girl who celebrates her birthday with a different adventure every hour for 24 hours.

Here are some activities to learn about time in your classroom.

Simon Says

  • Have your class stand in a circle.  When the teacher says “Simon Says”, the person chosen looks at the clock and tells what time it says.
  • When the teacher says to tell time without saying“Simon Says”, and the person does it anyway, the person has to sit down.
  • Optional: Instead of the teacher making all the commands, individual students can take turns playing Simon. Each child should get a chance to stand at the front of the class and say, “Simon says.”

How long is a minute?

Have the kids close their eyes and put their heads down. Time a minute on your watch while their eyes are closed and clap your hands when the minute is done. Ask if it seemed like a long time or short time.

Read Hickory Dickory Dock.

  • What are some similarities?
  • What are some differences?


  • Word Problems For younger students, the use of pictures or props might be needed to help with word problems.
  • In the morning Annie does 5 sit-ups. In the afternoon she does 3 more. How many sit-ups did Annie do today?
  • In a race, Annie dodges 1 shirt, 3 hats, and 4 gloves as the race starts. How many pieces of clothing are in the cotton avalanche?
  • Annie needs to run 8 miles. One run around her block is 2 miles. How many more times around the block does she have to run?


Stretching Exercises

  • Annie knows that stretching is important both for injury prevention and injury treatment. Annie makes sure to stretch every day. Below are some stretches that are safe for young children.
  • Touch your toes. This is a basic preschool exercise that can increase flexibility. Use this exercise as a warm-up before tackling other activities. Bend at the waist and reach for your toes. Count to 10, then come back up.
  • Do a number of jumping jacks. Try this one out by explaining to open up your arms and legs like an X, then put your legs together and arms at your sides. Jumping jacks are a challenging coordination movement for preschoolers, but there are still benefits in jumping and following directions.
  • Sit and stretch. Put legs together and then creep your fingers down to your toes.
  • Give each knee a kiss.
  • Open up the legs wide and stretch one leg at a time.
  • Practice “butterfly knees”. While sitting, touch the bottoms of your feet together, with knees opened to the sides. Flap your legs like the motion of a butterfly.
  • Roll your head gently by moving to the side, looking down and moving to the other side. This can be done while either standing or sitting, but must be done slowly.
  • Balancing activities such as standing on one leg and counting how long you can stay balanced. Your preschooler will likely be challenged by this at first, but eventually will become more stable. 

Games = Exercise

  • It is important for people to get out and get moving. Not everyone desires to work in the garden like Annie, some prefer playing sports. Talk to your students about various forms of exercise. There are lots of ways to get your heart pumping daily.
  • As a class, play the games below.
  • Which ones get your heart rate up? Which game do you prefer? Do they feel like exercise? Are they fun? Would you play them every day? What part(s) of the body do you think each game benefits?

Hot Lava

  • Kids love this game of imaginary adventure where players pretend they are escaping an active volcano.
  • Randomly place sheets of paper on the floor (you can substitute pillow cases, towels, or any mats). Work your way across the room jumping and leaping from paper to paper, making sure not to touch the “hot lava” (the floor). You might challenge the kids to see who can cross the room first.
  • This game helps kids develop spatial awareness as they learn to control their body tempo and movement.

Skip, Hop

  • Helping young children learn how to skip and hop improves their coordination while providing a cardiovascular workout. Jumping and hopping can improve bone density.
  • To make it fun, designate a finish line and have the kids hop forward and then backward as they make their way across the room.

Hang Ten

Head outdoors to work on upper-body strength. Give arms and shoulders a workout by clutching onto monkey bars. See who can cling the longest, or count how long you can hang on and try to beat your score next time. If you can do chin-ups, show off your strength and technique.

Run Wheelbarrow Races

A wheelbarrow race, in which one player “walks” on his hands, while a partner holds his legs. This classic game offers an upper-body workout for the person “walking” on the ground and challenges the total body strength of the player holding the feet.

Crawl Like a Crab

Pretend to be a crab: Walk sideways on hands and feet with your torso and head facing up. As you crab-crawl around the room, you’ll tone your arms and backs. Once you get the hang of it, have a race! To increase the challenge, find out who can crab-crawl the longest, using only one foot, an exercise game that strengthens the backs of the hips and legs.

Walk Like a Spider

Position yourself on all fours, with your head facing the floor. Walk on your hands and on the balls of your feet, keeping your backside up. This exercise builds strength in the body’s core area. Pretend you are spiders or prehistoric animals, or just have a funny race around the classroom.

Stride Like a Giant

  • Also known as walking lunges, this activity really works the hamstrings and gluts.
  • Position hands on hips and bend your knees as you take a giant step forward. For each step, bring the next foot forward with the knees bent. Play tag, but instead of running, players lunge as they try not to get caught.
  • The importance of the playground: Get outside and play as much as you can. Our nervous system is so well stimulated with the sun and air. Go out even if it’s cold.
  • What kid won’t love building a snowman?

Healthy Eating

  • Annie knows the importance of choosing healthy foods. She even has a salad with her spaghetti.
  • Below are some activities and discussion starters to help children learn the importance of healthy eating habits.


  • Discuss the children’s favorite foods for lunch; ask why they chose those foods.
  • Decorate a class bulletin board of “Foods We Eat for Lunch”.
  • As a class, brainstorm food groups, such as cereals; fruit/vegetables; meats/nuts (Proteins) and dairy. Sort their favorite foods into food groups.
  • Discuss what kinds of foods are good for us to eat.
  • Discuss what kinds of foods should we eat only a little of.
  • Talk about different foods that keep us healthy with vitamins and nutrients.
  • Discuss what foods are considered “sometimes foods” or “special treats”.
  • Why these foods are are eaten only sometimes? What sorts of ingredients do you find a them?
  • Research online and in cookbooks some healthy snacks. Have each kid sign up to bring a healthy snack in to share. 

Mural Activity

  • Tell the class that they will be working together to make a mural of Annie’s story.
  • First brainstorm a list of the things they want to include in the mural, such as the different kinds of clocks. Use different art supplies to make the different objects and characters — markers, glue, scissors and colored paper.
  • When everyone is finished, arrange the pictures on a large piece of bulletin board paper. Then use quotes from the story to make labels for the different pictures on sentence strips. For the title of the mural use the dialog, Annie’s Special Day
  • For more information on time look up http://library.thinkquest.org/C008179/historical/basichistory.html
  • Where everything from a history in time to worksheets will be found.


  1. Have students draw the hands on the clocks to represent the correct time. Demonstrate the answers for students to self-check their work.Worksheet
  2. 2. Play “What Time Is It?” One student is the town crier. He/she describes the time; e.g. “The hour hand is on the three, the minute hand is on the 2. What time is it?” Other students must guess the time. Clocks may be used to help figure the time. Take the Time Quiz.
  3. Discuss what happens during the students’ day at specific times. Have students write the time in standard notation form, then draw a picture to illustrate the activity. This activity can be varied to incorporate ideas such as a picture diary of a day at school, at home, or visiting a special place.
  4. Play “Time Trail.” Prepare a game board with a patch of clocks from start to finish. Each player rolls the dice and moves forward to land on a clock. The student must read the time. If the time is incorrectly read, the move is canceled. Play continues until all players have reached the end.Print Game Board