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Saturday: For When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Saturday” by Oge Mora is such a beautiful book to share with your students.  Not only are the illustrations just beautiful, but the story will also bring you and your students so much joy.  Ava and her mother share each Saturday together and have a special day.  Things do not go as planned though and the mishaps in their day bring up some great discussions with your students.  As Ava and her mother’s day comes to a disappointing end, Ava’s comforting words to her mother are some that you and your students will remember and take with you long after the book ends.  It is a beautiful story that helps teach your students to be flexible and appreciate things, even if they are not going your way.

The beautiful photos will capture your student's attention while the relatable story of Ava and her mother will keep it. Many students will be able to relate to the special weekend time that Ava and her mother have, and as we think about the hectic times we have during the week, Ava and her mom are a great example that it doesn't matter WHAT we do but WHO we do it with.

Skills to teach with “Saturday”:

  • Characters
  • Theme
  • Inferences
  • Beginning-middle-end
  • Connections
  • Compare and contrast
  • Sequence of events
  • Problem/solution

5 Favorite “Saturday” Activities

“Saturday” is sure to be a read-aloud favorite amongst your class. And you'll be able to open up conversations about being flexible, dealing with change, family traditions, spending time with loved ones, the comfort of routines and schedules, and how your day is what you make of it.

Here are some of my favorite activities to do after reading the book.

1. “Saturday was the day they cherished.”

Ava and her mom’s Saturday tradition opens up fun conversations about students' own weekends and things they like to do on the weekends. Students can write about things that they like to do during the weekend. Students can share and get to know more about each other when they discuss their favorite weekend traditions, ways to relax, hobbies, movies, and more.

2. “Their hairdos were ruined.”

Ava and her mom run into some obstacles during their day.  This is a great time to discuss how students feel when things don’t go their way.  You can discuss their feelings, how they deal with those feelings and alternatives for when things may not go as planned. You can share ways to react if things do not go as planned and have students share strategies that they use to pivot when needed. This is a great opportunity to share your own flexibility (especially in the classroom) and how things may not always go as you think they will, but they can still turn out amazing!

3. “They paused, closed their eyes, and let out a deep breath.”

Throughout the story, Ava and her mom stop to breathe and reevaluate before moving on. This is a great strategy for students to use themselves when they feel overwhelmed by changing circumstances. Sharing strategies for frustrations will be useful to students well beyond just these conversations or activities.  Students can learn ways, like Ava, to deal with and understand frustrating situations.  Putting themselves in Ava and her mom’s shoes is a good opportunity to see how they use strategies that don’t allow hiccups in their plans to ruin their day.

Students can write about some strategies that they use when they feel frustrated.

4. “What if we….”

Ava and her mom adapt to the changes in their day and end up making their own puppet show. This can help students realize that things don't always have to be perfect or go as planned. You can allow students to reflect on times when things were not going as they thought they would.  Looking back to see how they reacted will allow them to see how they can learn from challenging situations. They can think of how they reacted and if they would do anything differently.

5. “What a beautiful day.”

A fun (and favorite) activity to do after reading “Saturday” is to plan out the perfect Saturday.  It is fun to see how each student is different. They each have their own interests and sharing how they'd spend the day and who they’d like to spend the day with is a fun way to connect with students. And with those extra special responses, you can always share with someone they wrote about too.


I just love reading stories that students can truly relate to and connect with and I think the story of Ava and her mom is definitely one that will leave an impression on your kids. There are truly so many great lessons to learn as you read this book with your students.  The story is something that students can relate to and allows them to see useful and practical strategies for dealing with change in their lives.

I hope you and your students love it!

You can grab a free one-page guide for using this book in your classroom here:

You can find more of my favorite read-aloud books HERE.

And read more about why I think reading aloud is so important HERE.

You might like this blog post about self-love.

Check out all of my favorite read-aloud books and grab free guides for reading them aloud HERE.

You might also like to read more about these books:

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Happy Teaching!

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