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The Story Behind the Story – “A Haircut for Britches”

A Haircut for Britches - The Story Behind the Story

It’s sheep-shearing time!

Here in northern Wisconsin, spring is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for the sheep on neighboring farms to be relieved of their dense wool coats before lambing season begins. So each year in the early spring, the itinerant sheep shearer comes to our area and the fun begins!

But not everyone is as excited about that as I am…

In the short story “A Haircut for Britches” (included in All About Reading Level 3), Britches is afraid to be sheared. You see, one of the older sheep teasingly tells him that the farmer will turn his wool into a rug. That is a scary thought to young Britches—he doesn’t want people walking on his wool!

In this decodable story, readers find out what happens when Britches manages to hide from the farmer and avoid getting sheared.

Read Britches’ Story Here!

The Story behind the Story - A Haircut for Britches

We wanted you to be able to see firsthand what shearing is all about, so we visited Whataview Farm during their annual sheep shearing and took a few pictures of the action.

Just like Britches in the story, this little beauty wasn’t too happy about the situation.

The Story behind the Story - A Haircut for Britches

But unlike Britches, she didn’t manage to escape the shears.

The Story behind the Story - A Haircut for Britches

It was fascinating to see how the shearer removes the wool all in one piece.

The Story behind the Story - A Haircut for Britches

After being relieved of her warm coat, the sheep hopped up and joined her sisters. (I really wanted to pet the naked sheep!)

The Story behind the Story - A Haircut for Britches

Free of their heavy winter coats, these sheep will fare much better in the summer heat than poor Britches did!

What is your favorite All About Reading story? Would you like to hear the “story behind the story” for your favorite?

Read more about the inspiration behind the short stories in the All About Reading program!

(A special thanks to Whataview Farm for opening their farm to us, and to Dan Johnson of Fox Hill Photo for manning the camera!)

haircut for britches pinterest graphic

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Kerry

says:

Thanks for sharing!

Tiffany

says:

Love this! I had no idea

Emma A

says:

Wow! love the story and the information about shearing. Interesting and engaging. Thanks for sharing!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Emma!

Erin H

says:

Wow! Love this!

Rebekah Everhart

says:

I’ll have to show this to my son, he enjoyed the story.

Deborah Bown

says:

Sounds like a highly engaging story that would keep a young readers interest. My kids love stories about animals and real life.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deborah,
Yes! Stories like this one are very engaging.

Aleshia Harr

says:

My kids love learning about life on the farm. Thanks for sharing.

Amie Smith

says:

This is so neat, I had no idea the wool was removed in one piece! I’m looking forward to more “The Story Behind the Story” posts.

Tiffany

says:

Love the story behind the story idea! My son is still in vol. 1, so he hasn’t read about Britches yet. He did enjoy reading The Pesky Shadow. It is always fun to hear your kids laugh while reading a story.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Tiffany! I love those laughs from reading in the early years.

Julia Lee

says:

I love the idea behind the The Story Behind The Story! 😆 We like to visit a working 1850s farm here that sheers sheep the traditional way. We are only in the first book of level 1, but we have enjoyed all the stories so far.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Julia,
How fun to visit a working farm from the 19th century! That sounds like my idea of a perfect field trip. 😊

Judith Martinez

says:

How fun!! My kids have had a lot of fun visiting animals at the petting zoo and feeling the wool.

Christina Hauser

says:

Story behind the story is a really cool idea! I’m not sure what AAR level my oldest is as at, but I’m going to help with the story, if needed, and show her the pictures. Would love more story behind the story posts!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’ll pass along the suggestion, Christina! I know lots of students enjoy learning the story behind the story.

If you are unsure what level your child is at, you can look over our placement tests. Let me know if you have any questions or need anything.

Morgan

says:

My kids will adore this! I love digging a little deeper in a topic or story we read. Great pictures and thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Morgan! It’s fun when learning is expanded in new directions, isn’t it? 😊

Andrea

says:

Thank you for this free download!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Andrea. 😊

Amanda P

says:

This is awesome and appropriate to go along with the other farm animals we were just learning about!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad this is good timing for you, Amanda. Enjoy! 😊

Amity

says:

I love sheep! So cute

Sally Chancellor

says:

Great pictures, I will have to show my kids!

Julie

says:

Oh I love this. I’ll have to show it to my daughter. Thanks for the story behind the story.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Julie!

Tracey King

says:

Very cool! Definitely using it.

Leighann H

says:

Sheep are my mother’s favorite animal; so my daughter really liked this story. My son always ends up listening in on her reading time and looks forward to reading certain stories himself.

My personal favorite comes from level 1; The Gum. There is just something so relatable about a mom losing it and trying to beat gum out of her rug with a log. And it did not get the gum. 😂

Linda Difino

says: Customer Service

Hi Leighann!
Have you seen our animated version of “The Gum?” Your daughter will LOVE it! Here’s the link: https://allaboutlearningpress.wistia.com/medias/mpvj7bp4mb
Enjoy!!

Leighann H.

says:

No we haven’t! I’ll share that during Reading today!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, I know what you mean about gum, Leighann! That certainly is a relatable story. 😉

Sharon

says:

Aww, thank you!

Sue

says:

Love that they can learn about shearing

Laura B

says:

Great facts! We can’t wait to get to level 3 so we can read the story!

Jessica Weyers

says:

I love this great to know about sheep amazing facts

Kimberly Fowler

says:

We are thrilled to have found AAR we think my son my be dyslexic. All we have read so far seems to be pointing us in the direction of this program. This was cute.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kimberyly,
Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based. This is a proven approach for helping students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Marie Rippel, author and creator of the programs, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and has instructed graduate-level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She is also a member of Pro Literacy, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literary Task Force in Wisconsin, and tutored students for more than 20 years. Marie’s son is severely dyslexic, and being told by experts that he would never learn to read led directly to her creating All About Reading and All About Spelling. You can see a short video about her son’s story here.

We have a Dyslexia Resources page that you may find helpful.

Let me know if you need help with placement or anything else.

shana

says:

so cute

Nancy Nelson

says:

So enjoying the new treasure I’ve found…your web site! My beliefs align with yours and I’m truly enjoying your resources.

Kira

says:

These stories are amazing! My son loves the books and is proud to be able to sound out every word. He loves the images and the stories. He feels like he is reading a chapter book. After three years in first grade reading, I see these helping him to break through the barrier and gain reading confidence through learning concrete rules. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kira,
It’s heartwarming to know we had at part in helping your son to become a joyful and confident reader! I’ll be sharing this with the whole AALP team!

Daisy

says:

Marie,

Thank you so much for making this delightful story available for download in book form and also for sharing the story behind the story! Look forward to more on this.. Do you also have this on video please?

Marie Rippel

says:

Daisy, we don’t have the story on video at this time, although we are playing around with the possibilities! In the meantime though, I’m glad you liked the free download and the story behind the story. It was a lot of fun to write!

Madonna

says:

I love this! Do you have more “The Story Behind the Story” posts? We are just finishing up level 1, but sharing these posts after reading the stories would be a lot of fun! Thanks so much for sharing!

Marie Rippel

says:

Hi Madonna! Thanks for your comment! We have an entire series of “The Story Behind the Story” planned, so more will be coming your way! :)

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