Theme 6: Smart Solutions

Our sixth Houghton Mifflin reading theme is Smart Solutions.  This is our final theme.  In this theme we will read three stories.  Our first story, Pepita Talks Twice, is a realistic fiction story about a girl who speaks both English and Spanish, and decides she doesn’t want to “speak twice” anymore.  Our second story is also realistic fiction and it is called, Poppa’s New Pants.  Poppa’s family tries to help him by shortening his pants before church one morning and they get a big surprise.  The third story is an excerpt from the realistic fiction book, Romona Quimby, Age 8.  The Quimby family is struggling to enjoy their Sunday because it is raining.  They find some excitement in their day when they take a trip to a local restaurant. 


During this theme, all students will…

  • use various reading strategies:  question; monitor/clarify; predict/infer; phonics/decoding.
  • learn various comprehension strategies:  making inferences; predicting outcomes; text organization.
  • use various dictionary vocabulary skills:  syllables; analogies; homophones.
  • identify various grammar skills:  subject pronouns; object pronouns; using the correct verb form; possessive pronouns; proofreading for its and it’s.
  • review spelling skills for vowel sounds in tooth and cook as well as work with vowel sound in bought; VCCV pattern.

3 Stories in our theme:


Pepita Talks Twice

written by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman

New Words & Vocabulary

language Spanish
enchiladas salsa
tortilla tamales
tacos grumble
tiptoed ducked
darted nuzzled



Poppa’s New Pants

written by Angela Shelf Medearis

illustrated by John Ward

 New Words & Vocabulary

draped fabric
hem mended
pattern plaid
rustling uproar
bust a gusset plum worn out
brother-in-law arthritis
pallet crouched
wheezed mustering
dozed off armadillo
limbs smiling fit to beat the band
haunting scurried
sanctuary knickers



Ramona Quimby, Age 8

written by Beverly Cleary

illustrated by Alan Tiegreen

 New Words & Vocabulary

ceaseless companionable
discouraged dismal
dreary exhausted
pelting sullenly
cross stalked
mute indignant
omission vaguely
lariat protested
flounced vexed
sustained unappreciated
relented cognitive
snooping checking
rumpled emerged
feeble bustle
overtime gourmet
transmission balked
rummage upholstered
seething pry
dreaded bliss
tart dribbled
companionable eavesdropping
genuine descended
astonishment wraps
obediently rhythmic
accuracy curdled