Skills Building: Noodlephant (PK-5)

Written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Sometimes rules are created that are unfair to certain groups of people and are designed to benefit only those people that created the rules. Can you think of any rules like this?
  2. What might you try to do when you see rules that are designed to exclude certain groups of people? What type of collaboration might be needed to change unfair or unjust rules?  
  3. How does it feel when you collaborate with others? Is it always easy and successful? What are some important ideas to remember when working together? 
  4. This book has a lot of puns and alliteration, which is when a series of words all have the same starting sound. For example, “slippery slurps” is an alliteration because both words start with the “sl” sound. An example of a pun would be turning “pens” into “penne.” Working together as a group, listen for all the alliteration and puns that you hear. Have one or two people make a tally of all the alliteration and puns you hear in the book.

Post Reading Questions

  1. What types of collaboration and working together did you see in Noodlephant?
  2. What things were Noodlephant and his friends able to do together as a group that they could not have done on their own?
  3. Were the rules that the kangaroos made fair to Noodlephant or her friends? What happened when the animals worked together? 
  4. Both Noodlephant and Freedom Soup showed groups of people who worked together to fight for their rights and freedom. Why is it important to have groups of people collaborating together to fight for their rights? Is that something that can be done alone? 

Creative Enrichment Activity: Make Your Own Phantastic Noodler! (Pre-K-5)

Overview: In the book Noodlephant, Noodlephant and her friends create the Phantastic Noodler that turns any item into slippery, slurpy, and scrumptious noodles! In this activity, you will create your own Phantastic machine and you decide what it will create!


Machine templates printed on cardstock. Download templates.
Color pencils
Small bowls to hold materials

Note: This craft calls for uncooked pasta. If pasta is not available for this craft, alternative items may be used.

Pasta Materials:

  • Various types of uncooked pasta
    • Spaghetti 
    • Elbow macaroni
    • Bowtie pasta
    • Penne
    • Rotelle/wheel pasta

Example alternative materials instead of pasta:

  • Stickers
  • Fuzzy pom poms
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Wikki stix
  • Yarn

Duration: 30-40 minutes (for staff: 5-10 minute pre-activity set up and 5-minute prep)

5-10 minutes – Introduce the activity. Students choose a template and brainstorm what their machine will make.
15 minutes – Students work on their machines. 
5-10 minutes – Clean up activity. 
5 minutes – Reflect and share


  1. Introduce the activity and relate the activity back to the book. 
  2. Let each student pick a machine template. 
  3. Students will then brainstorm what their machine will “make.” The machine should make something related to Social Emotional Learning. Some examples are: 
    • Kindness 
    • Friendship
    • Peace
    • Calmness
    • Social justice
    • Fairness
    • Responsible decision-making
  4. Students use the materials they are given to design and decorate their machine templates.  
  5. Once students are finished creating their machine, they should clean up their table space and throw away all paper scraps. 
  6. Allow time for students to share their machines and what they created. Note how different all the machines look. 
  7. Reflect

Reflection Questions

  • What did your machine create? Why did you decide on this for your machine? 
  • How did you decide where to put each of the materials? 
  • How did the animals in Noodlephant work together to make a better world? What might the world be like if everyone always acted in the ways we describe with our machines? 
  • You did this project on your own without collaborating with your classmates, but you did collaborate in some ways. How did you collaborate during this activity (e.g., cleaning up, setting up the materials, working together to share the materials, etc.).