Dee and Bee Teacher Guide
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About the Guide

This Winslow Press Teacher Guide has been designed for the classroom teacher by offering enrichment activities and discussion materials to complement Dee and Bee. These activities can help students to better understand and enjoy the story as well as assist teachers in implementing strategies and experiences that support their district’s learning standards for language arts.

The Guide presents a story synopsis and outlines pre-reading activities. It also presents some concepts related to the story and includes: a brief discussion of related curriculum areas; a list of vocabulary words; class discussion questions; and independent study ideas related to Dee and Bee. The activities are designed to cover a range of language arts skills development that meets the needs of multiple learning styles. The final part of the Guide lists additional resources (books, museums, reference materials, related Internet Web sites) for both teachers and students.

The interdisciplinary activities were developed to support the New York State Learning Standards for English Language Arts and will therefore support the higher standards in the country. The Standards can be downloaded from the New York State Education Department’s Web site at . If you have questions about specific standards applied to these activities, please call Winslow Press at 1-800-617-3947.

We hope this Teacher Guide will be a useful and positive part of your teaching experience!


Diane F. Kessenich

Chief Executive Officer and Publisher


Children reading Dee and Bee will learn to discriminate between the details of visual images while following the antics of a mischievous pair of identical twins. The incorrigible Dee and Bee have learned down to a science how to fool teachers, nurses, their brother and even their mother about who really did what. See if you can tell….

Critical Thinking Questions

Knowledge: Do you ever notice tiny differences between things like one pair of sneakers and another? Do you like to solve puzzles?

Comprehension: How can looking at things carefully and noticing small differences help you solve puzzles? How can noticing details help you understand what is going on in a picture?

Application: Imagine you were a detective. How might you use what you know about the importance of noticing little details to help you at a crime scene?Imagine you have misplaced something. How might you find it? Would you retrace your steps and think back to where you last had it. Would remembering small details be a help? How?

Analysis: Would noticing small differences between things you look at help you more as an artist or as a scientist? Would it help you in both kinds of work equally?

Synthesis: What could you do to sharpen your skills of observation, or looking at things?

Evaluation: Why might being able to look really carefully at the world around you be a help in a number of ways?

Related Concepts

For Discussion

Dee and Bee use their amazing likeness to pull off one practical joke after another. In this book kids make their own best guess about "which twin did it" and get in on the fun. This is an opportunity to talk about observing subtle differences between one thing and another. Dee and Bee also offers an opening to talk about how joking and games are part of a warm family life, and a perennial favorite with kids–what twins are all about.

Themes/General Impressions

  • Finding clues; Careful observation

Dee and Bee fool everyone–even their brother and mother. But students who observe carefully will find that there is one clue that crops up in every illustration. After students have read the book and given it a good look, ask:

    • Only Bee wears a barrette. Who notices that only Bee wears a barrette?
    • What helps you notice tiny differences in an illustration?
  • Family feelings; Practical jokes

Students will probably grasp with no trouble that the joking that Dee and Bee do is lighthearted and not meant to harm. Even when they fool their own family members, it is clear through the feel of the text and illustration in Dee and Bee that everyone is having a good time. Explain to students that "practical jokes" are jokes that are carefully planned to achieve a certain effect. Open a discussion of practical jokes students have played or had played on them.

    • In all joking it’s important to consider the feelings of others.
    • At the same time, jokes can also be a way of showing real affection, especially within a warm family unit.
  • Twins

Exploring the subject of twins is yet another way to go with this book. Kids are naturally interested in the topic and there may even be one or more sets of twins in your class. Discuss with students the difference between identical and fraternal twins. To find out everything you want to know about twins before you open this discussion, go to the Web sites listed at the end of this guide or obtain one or more of the books on twins and twinning. The subject is a fascinating one that can lead your class in a number of different directions. Discussion could include talking about how such traits as facial features are passed down genetically, as well as what it is that makes each of us different and what it is we all hold in common.



Selected Vocabulary Words and Phrases





polish off





Cross-Curricular Activities

  1. SCIENCE: Do Class Research on Twins
  1. Capitalize on student’s natural interest in twins by having them research and create
  2. their own book of twin facts. One approach to organizing things would be to group students into an art team, a research team, and a text team. Students could opt to join the group that best suits their abilities.

  3. Once the research team has done its job, the art and text teams can work together to

join facts with kid-created images. Students might cut pictures from magazines to create collages or do their own original drawings, with labels to display the facts provided by the research team. The final book can be given cardboard covers and bound with yarn. The final Twin Fact Book can be displayed in the classroom or loaned to another class.

IRA/NCTE Standards: 7, 8

  1. ART: Design Your own Tee Shirts
  1. Dee and Bee wear all kinds of fun tee shirts in this book. Have students look through
  2. the illustrations to find inspiration for designing their own tee shirts. Encourage them to let their imaginations run rampant, and to think of a design they think suits their own individual personality. What colors do they like? What shapes or animals? Is there something they know how to draw really well?

  3. Draw a simple tee shirt template on a blank sheet of paper and make enough copies to

provide several for each student. Distribute the templates and provide students with crayons or colored pencils to create their designs. Ask them to experiment with different ideas before doing a carefully finished version of their final choice. Mount students’ final designs on the bulletin board in a class "fashion show."

  1. ART: Squiggle Smirks

Ask kids to check out the faces in Amanda Haley’s illustrations for Dee and Bee. Draw their attention to just how tiny a change in the mouth-squiggle it takes to create a whole new mood for a character. Distribute art materials and explain that now the students will have a chance to experiment with the creating their own characters and moods. Ask them to draw a face showing joy, surprise, anger, and curiosity.



4: LANGUAGE ARTS: Compile a Class Book of D and B

Tell students that they will all work together to create their own "B D and DB" books. Out of heavy stock cardboard cut a pair of foot-tall, 8-inch-wide lowercase letter "b’s," then make the same for the letter "d." Explain to students that they will work in two large groups to brainstorm as many words as they can beginning with each of these letters as they can. Cut as many pages as are needed using the cardboard cover as a template. IRA/NCTE Standards: 3

Independent Learning

To help facilitate independent study, we have provided a starting list of ideas to help children get started. Some areas of interest may include the following:

  1. Twins in legend, such as Romulus and Remus 3) "Where’s Waldo"-style books
  2. How cartoonists create expression that build skills of observation


(Note: We strongly recommend that teachers preview materials before sharing them with students.)


Baum, Arline and Joseph. Opt: An Illusionary Tale. New York: Viking, 1989. An excellent picture book that gives kids an opportunity to test their observation skills as they figure out one illusion after another and learn how they actually work.

Bunting, Eve. Twinnies. New York: Harcourt Brace, 2000. In this sensitively-written picture book for 4 to 8 year-olds a little girl must cope with the sudden appearance of adorable twin sisters.

Burgess, Thornton. Buster Bear’s Twins. New York: Dover, 1999. This Dover Children’s Thrift Classic is a chapter book for younger children that has fun with the theme of twins.

Dubowski, Cathy East. The Case of the Sea World Adventure (The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley). New York: Scholastic, 1996. Another installment in the continuing adventures of the popular Mary Kate and Ashley twins.

Dr. Seuss. The Sneetches and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1988. Dr. Seuss’s Sneetches come in to two flavors–those with stars on their bellies and those without–and the results are both hysterical and instructive. Great for taking kids through the issue of surface differences and what we all share underneath.

Hanford, Martin. Where's Waldo? New York: Candlewick Press, 1997. This classic picture book challenges children to use their skills of careful observation in totally fun way as they try to locate Waldo in Hanford’s intricate crowd scenes.

Hanford, Martin. Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey. New York: Candlewick Press, 1997. Another popular Waldo book, this one features a fantasy setting packed with knights, fairies, gluttons, dragons, nasty nasties, and more.

Rotner, Shelley. About Twins. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999. Featuring the author’s excellent photographs this simple, straightforward book explores the nature of twin-ness through pictures, facts, and brief, imagined quotes on what it’s like to be a twin. A fine exploration of what twins do and don’t have in common.

Sturgis, Alexander. Optical Illusions in Art: Discover How Paintings Aren’t Always What They Seem to Be. New York: Sterling Publications, 1996. A clever and illuminating installment of Sterling’s Art for Young People series; especially good for developing and refining children’s skills of observation.

Web Sites
Kids can play Match the Twin!, then go on to find out everything about twins.
Famous twins in the movies.
Famous twins in television.
Live pictures of the twin baby gorillas in the Zoo Nurssery of the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Still shots from the Disney remake of the twin movie The Parent Trap.
Hear these popular twins sing a song about switching places, or check out pictures from their TV show and upcoming movie.