For struggling readers, the length, vernacular language and print size of stories like Raising Dragons. (Houghton-Mifflin Reading Series Level 3.1) can be overwhelming. I have found that creating songs or poems that get to the heart of the setting, plot, and resolution can greatly accommodate such readers.
Use this nine stanza poem as a pre-reading listening activity after the group has taken a picture walk through the text and made predictions about the setting, characters, problem(s) and solution(s).
Raising Dragons (tune "Farmer in the Dell")
From a hole in the shell
Poked a tiny dragon's snout.
Hi ho the dinosaur
Hank breathed fire all about.
Included are 10 model comprehension questions either opinion or poem based to encourage look-backs and forming thoughtful opinions based on a combination of the text, illustrations and their own background knowledge. I paste each on tag that students may use as an After-reading activity with 2 die and any game board.