“The Quiet Book” and “The Loud Book” by Deborah Underwood

quiet book loud book

This book is simple, lovely and funny. I had “The Quiet Book” for a while and was so excited to come across “The Loud Book”. And then an activity was born. This is a great pair of books to introduce the idea of opposites to young children, and then have them come up with ideas for each category.

Following the same structure as a few of the other books, this is a great one to do a living circle to determine how much of the book kids remember (recall and retell). Sitting in a circle, one by one, kids enter and say and act out one of the ‘quiet’ or ‘loud’ actives from the book. I would do the book separately in two lessons, but then maybe bring ideas together in a third to play around with opposites.

The idea can be developed further in Grade 1/2 by having kids come up with a short scene where one student is doing something quietly, and another walks in doing something loudly. What happens next to solve the problem?

Younger kids can have a go at creating a little story of their own in groups of 4 or 5, using the same structure as a book. Firstly in groups, kids brainstorm other quiet/loud activities (not in the book) that they like to do or put together crazy ideas (getting chased by a lion, swimming with dolphins) and then present by speaking one line each. When I’m feeling quiet I like to…….

I have also done this as a 3 part / 3 lessons. First lesson introduce The Quiet Book and during this whole time speak in a loud whisper. It’s actually really nice to do this – changes the tone of the class. Then into a Living Picture “when I’m Feeling Quiet I like to…..”. Into a group piece where one person starts doing something quietly, then the second enters asking”Why are you being so quiet?” They answer with what they are doing. The second starts their thing and then so on…..each student enters with a new thing. At the end they all say (in a stage whisper): “Sometimes we just like to be quiet”.

Second part/lesson, read The Loud Book. As you read let kids do he noises of each page. They have so much fun with this. Into a Living Picture of Good and Bad (do 2) kinds of loud. They act out and show with noise before freezing and the picture builds.

Into groups to create Soundscapes. Each group chooses whether to represent good loud or bad loud. They then create a sound scape of different sounds that match this.  For example one group of 4  in Grade 2 , made sounds of: crying baby, gun shot, scream and loud car. They began with one, adding to it until al 4 sounds could be heard. When it comes to performing these, the audience just keeps their eyes closed. Good fun and very focused.

The third part/lesson is bringing the two ideas together in an improvisation. They will create a scene that is either loud or quiet (so many different options from playground, library, funeral, etc). The scene is performed but one person is so clearly the opposite – so a LOUD (in action or voice) kid enters a quiet situation or vice versa. Rehearse, Perform and give feedback.




I love it when a book I just enjoy for it’s homour or quirkiness translates beautifully to a literacy/drama lesson.



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