When a bus driver takes a break in this hilarious Caldecott Honor-winning picture book, he gives the reader just one instruction: “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” But, boy, that pigeon tries every trick in the book to get in that driving seat: he whines, wheedles, fibs and flatters. Will you let him drive?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Make a new version of this story based on a similar title, e.g. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Steer the Ship!” or “Don’t Let the Pigeon Control the Steamroller”.
- Think of a ‘backstory’ for the pigeon. Where did he come from? Where does he live? Why does he want to drive a bus so badly?
- Write an alternative ending for the story in which the pigeon DOES get to drive the bus. What happens?
- Make a list of for and against arguments about letting the pigeon drive the bus.
- Discuss why the bus driver doesn’t want the pigeon to drive the bus.
- Make some instructions to teach the pigeon how to drive the bus.
- Use the text in the speech bubbles to turn the story into a playscript.
- Retell the story from the pigeon’s point of view.
- There are a number of books about this pigeon. Could you write your own story in which he is the main character?
- Count how many times the following words are used in the story: Pigeon, bus, drive, I, vroom and just. Use these to create tally charts and other kinds of graphs.
- Write a report about pigeons. Include information about their behaviour, habitat and diet.
- Create a game about a pigeon that drives a bus and has to avoid different obstacles.
- Create a book trailer for this game using animation / multimedia tools.
- Make an animated version of this story.
- Create some puppets and use them to retell this story.
- Create a model of a bus.
- Create some images that show what might happen if the pigeon did get to drive the bus.
- Can you create your own pictures of this pigeon doing unusual tasks?
- Look at the illustrations and identify how the pigeon is feeling in each picture. How do you know? Can you think of words and phrases to describe his emotions?