Saturday, May 25, 2024
Book Companions Character Activities

Courage Activity: Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy is a heart warming story about a young girl named Lucy who has the courage to do the right thing. This story teaches us to celebrate differences, be proud of who we are, and to remember we all have a heart with feelings on the inside. I absolutely loved reading Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun with my students and they loved it too!

Each month, my classroom focuses on a different Character Trait to learn about and practice using in their everyday lives. We do simple lessons each week centered around our Character Trait of the month, and celebrate our accomplishments at the end of the month with a small ice cream party. This month our Character Trait of the Month is COURAGE and the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun was a great companion.

How I used the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy in my classroom:

Interactive Read Aloud

Activity 1: Interactive Read Aloud


First, I put questions about the story on sticky notes and put the sticky notes on the corresponding pages in the book. I also created an answer board with corresponding answers to all my questions in boxes on the dry erase board. The answer board is definitely optional depending the grade and abilities of the students in your classroom. The students in my classroom have a variety of abilities and many of them need this additional support. I even included picture support on my sticky notes for my non-readers. You can easily draw up a little picture to go along with the answer OR if you need a time-savor CLICK HERE for pre-made, printable sticky notes.

Directions for Interactive Read Aloud:

READ! As I read the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun to my students, I paused at the end of each page with a sticky note. I read the question on the sticky note to my students and chose a student to answer the question. You can either have the student answer aloud while staying seated OR you can have the student come up to the answer board and place the question sticky note on top of the corresponding answer. This option works well if you have students who are non-verbal.

Keeping students engaged during a read aloud can often be a difficult thing to do in my classroom. I found using the question/answer board to be a game changer in my classroom this year. My students enjoy coming up to the answer board and are anxiously waiting for their turn. It’s like a game! And my students love games!

character Comparison Activity

Activity 2: Character Comparison Activity


Create a Venn Diagram to compare the characters Lucy and Ralph OR if you need a pre-made or picture supported version CLICK HERE!

Directions for Character Comparison Activity:

Discuss the similarities and differences between the two characters with your students and complete the venn diagram as a class. Ask your students questions about each character. Start simple: Is Lucy a boy or girl? Is Ralph a boy or girl? Is Lucy nice to her friends? Is Ralph nice to his friends? Then move on to questions such as: Who likes to eat spaghetti in a hot dog bun? Who thinks spaghetti in a hot dog bun is gross? Who gets their feelings hurt in the story? Who needs help on the monkey bars? Who makes a good choice to do the right thing? Who has a heart with feelings?

spaghetti in a hot dog bun writing activity

Activity 3: Writing Prompt Craftivity


Decide on a writing prompt for your students. Some ideas are:

Being different is okay. How are you different?

Be proud of who you are. Why are you proud of yourself?

It is always important to do the right thing. Write about a time when you chose to do the right thing.

If you need a pre-made writing prompt or a picture-supported writing prompt with error-free choices CLICK HERE!

Materials for Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun Craft:

Per Student: Paper plate, light brown construction paper or foam, light yellow yarn, red pompoms, large piece of construction paper

Directions for Writing Prompt Craftivity:

Have students complete the writing prompt of you choice and then make the Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun Craft.

Cut a hot dog bun shape out of the light brown construction paper or foam and glue it on the paper plate.

Cut a bunch of pieces of yellow yarn to look like spaghetti and glue on top of the hot dog bun.

Glue the red pompoms on top of the spaghetti for the meatballs.

Glue the writing prompt paper and the craft on a large piece of construction paper



spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun cooking activity

Activity 4: Cooking Activity


Cook spaghetti noodles and meatballs the night before you plan to do this cooking activity in your classroom. Warm the spaghetti noodles, sauce, and meatballs up in the microwave right before completing the cooking activity. For a pre-made, picture supported direction sheet and recipe review CLICK HERE!!


Hot dog buns, cooked spaghetti, cooked meatballs, spaghetti sauce. paper plates

Directions for Classroom Cooking Activity:

Put a hot dog bun on the plate.

Put a scoop of spaghetti noodles in the bun.

Put a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles.

Put some meatballs on top of the sauce.


I hope you found some useful ideas on how to use the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy in your classroom! This book was so much fun for my classroom! If would like a ready-to-go, differentiated companion activity for this story CLICK HERE!!!

I would love to hear your ideas too! Please comment below about your ideas for the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun in your classroom! Thank you for reading!

Ashlee Signature


Check out some of my other book companion activities:

Potato Pants! A Lesson on Foregiveness

Recess Queen: Character in the Classroom

The Very Stuffed Turkey: Story Questions

Spaghetti with the Yeti: Story Web

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