Whether or not you are a middle child, you can probably identify with the feelings of Nora as she watches her parents attend to her older sister and younger brother and feels left out. Nora finds many creative, noisy ways to get noticed. It isn’t until she is quiet that they notice her and miss her presence. This story provides beautiful evidence of busy families loving, caring for, and supporting each other. The family plays games together, sing, read and cook together. The final picture shows Nora’s family lovingly paying attention to the noisy (and messy) Nora, demonstrating how they appreciate her role in the family. On the back page, Nora skips off happily giving one the feeling that she is secure in the knowledge that she is important even though she has to share her family’s attention. This is a happy springboard for initiating discussions of patience and taking turns, establishing family time, talking about roles that each member of the family plays, and finding ways to give each member of the family the attention he or she desires. We hope you enjoy introducing Nora to your busy family.
ASK: Do you feel like an important member of the family? Do you feel that your family members listen to you? How do you get the attention of someone who isn’t paying attention to you?
SHOW: Look at the pictures on the cover and title page. Does Nora seem to be knocking things over on purpose? Why would she do that?
CONNECT: Connect: When do you think we could call you Noisy ________ (put in child’s name)? Let’s read this book and find out why Nora is called Noisy Nora.
ASK: After reading a few pages, ask the following questions: “What is the problem in the story? How does Nora try to handle the problem? Is it working?”
SHOW: Look at the picture of Nora’s family when she bursts out of the closet. How do their faces tell you they feel about Nora? Do they care about the noise and mess?
CONNECT: Have you ever tried some of the things that Nora tried to get attention?
ASK: How do families support and care for each other? Why is it important to feel supported and cared for in your family? How do your family members know you care about them? How do you know your family members care about you?
SHOW: Look at the pictures again. List all the activities the family does together. List all the ways Nora finds to be noisy.
CONNECT: What are some ways you can let your family know when there is a problem?
- Have a family meeting in which you talk about family roles. What unique quality does each person feel he or she adds to the family? Discuss whether anyone in your family feels like Nora. Discuss ways that family members can share, take turns, and respect each others’ needs and space. Establish some family meeting rules, such as be honest, take turns, no putdowns/name calling, everyone shares, etc.
- Draw a picture of your family. Each member can draw a different picture. On a separate sheet of lined paper, write a list of things you could do for/with each person. These ideas may include the following: ways to help with a project, help with a weekly chore, share resources, spend time with someone, teach something you are good at, etc.
- As a fun activity, think of ways that people in your family are the best in different silly ways. Write the names of the family members who are the best at each (come up with your own categories):
Best at finding things:
Best at losing things:
Best at pretending:
Best at making jokes:
- Create some different noise makers. Use a variety of resealable containers such as an empty soda bottle, a small food container, a small box, plastic eggs, etc. Put a handful of items in each container, close it, and seal it well with tape. Shake the container to hear its sound. Some items to put in the containers include dried beans, pennies, stones, rice, lentils, marbles, and pasta. Compare the sounds the different items make in the same containers. Compare the sounds the different containers make with the same items inside. Have fun making noise in a non-messy way!