What To Do? What To Do? (Hardcover) by Toni Teevin; illustrated by Janet Pedersen. Clarion Books, 2006. ISBN: 9780618446322. pp: 32. Ages: 4-9, gr: k-3
Paperback (Reprint edition March 1, 2006) ISBN: 1401308589



Sophie lived all alone. She made new friends with the birds. She started to bake bread for the birds, and then the birds would not leave her alone. Sophie wondered what to do, what to do, as the birds seemed to be taking over. She finally got rid of the birds by tricking the fortuneteller into wearing her hat and shawl so the birds followed the fortuneteller. Sophie went on to open a cottage bakery for the local townspeople.


  1. Sing the poem "Sing a Song of Sixpence" also called "Blackbird Pie." Note to teacher: Could also be used as an introduction to the book.
    Rebus page

  2. Sophie’s orange hat was not like what the other women in the town wore; it was distinctive - it set her apart from the others. Use paper or fabric to make a distinctive hat for yourself. Note to teacher: Let the students be as creative as they want and give them a lot of choices on the materials they use to make the hat.

  3. Re-enact the story as a play. Assign a cast or let the students pick which part they want to play. Go through the play several times and change roles. Perform this play for another class or another group of peers in the class.

  4. Bring in a bread recipe. Compare the bread recipes. Note to the teacher: If the students have a bread recipe at home, have them bring it in. If they do not, bring in some extra ones from your own home or give class time to look up a recipe on the internet. Use this as a way to introduce fractions in a math lesson.

  5. Give Sophie a nickname, for example ’bird lady’. Write a short paragraph on why you chose that nickname for Sophie. Note to the teacher: Use the comments from students to introduce topics such as stereotypes or other lessons that deal with real life.

  6. Compare the illustrations in this book with illustrations that Janet Pedersen has done for other books.

  7. Work in small groups to research different aspects of birds. Example for groups could include sounds, food, and habitat. Take this information outside and look and listen for these aspects on a walk or short field trip to a nature center. Yahoo Kids Animals is one place to start.

  8. Two types of black-colored birds that are common in stories are the crow and the blackbird. What is the difference between the crow and blackbird? What other stories or rhymes have a crow or a blackbird?
  9. Did you like this ending? Can you think of another way the story could have ended? Choose an ending to the story, either a different ending or keep it the way it ended. Make a poster (possibly in groups) and then explain to the rest of the class why you chose the ending you did.

  10. Choose a different animal or food. Either choose an animal other than the black bird to pester Sophie, or choose another food the birds would like. Compare how this animal/food could change the way the story progressed and ended.

  11. Make origami fortune tellers. These are also called cootie catchers. Directions from:
    Read about the history of origami fortune tellers from Google Answers (includes links).

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What to Do? What to Do?. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #106698 EN; Book Level 3.0; Points= 0.5
Lexile Level 480

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