It seems like by the end of October, most students are comfortable in their new classroom. Friendships have formed and students have settled in. This is usually when I first notice some teasing taking place in the classroom. This week we are spotlighting The Hallo-Wiener because it is a great way to discuss bullying in your classroom. While the book is fun and upbeat, it allows teachers to introduce a more serious concept. This book can be used to reinforce what a good friend looks like as well as opening discussions about bullying and teasing. - Jodi and the Starts With a Story Team



Dav Pilkey’s book, The Hallo-Wiener, is about a dachshund named Oscar. All of the other dogs in Oscar’s class make fun of him for the way he looks and call him a wiener dog. Normally, the teasing would bother Oscar but not on Halloween. He can’t wait to wear a scary costume. However, when he gets home from school he finds his mother made him a surprise, a hotdog costume! Oscar doesn’t want to hurt his mom’s feelings so he wears the costume. Of course, the other dogs tease him for wearing it. Oscar has a hard time keeping up with the other dogs because of the costume, and misses out on all the candy. As the other dogs head home, they pass a graveyard. That’s when they see a scary creature and they’re so scared they run into a pond. When Oscar comes along, he can see the feet under the costume, it’s just some cats! Oscar scares off the cats and rescues his friends from the water. Oscar is no longer the Wiener dog, but the Hero Sandwich!


Aside from social emotional learning, The Hallo-Wiener is also a great book to practice many academic concepts! It is a great resource to practice reading comprehension skills and can be used to teach new grammar concepts. This book is also a great way to engage your students in purposeful writing activities. 

  1. Practice identifying the genre of The Hallo-Wiener.
  2. Analyze the book’s plot by looking at the problem and solution.
  3. Teach students to break down the steps or directions for an activity as they engage in “how-to” writing. 
  4. Encourage students to research as they learn about a new type of dog.
  5. Introduce the purpose of apostrophes and practice using them. 
  6. Teach or review prepositions and plural nouns. 
  7. Discuss bullying and the qualities of a good friend.


If you are looking for “ready to go” activities for the first day of school, be sure to check out the book companion. With it you’ll receive all of the following resources to align with this specific book:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies

These activities have everything you need to teach a comprehensive read aloud for this book!



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It's hard to explain how amazing the Starts with a Story book companions are because there is just so much goodness included in each one.  It's best if you experience using one for yourself. Sign up below & we'll send you an entire book companion to try out for FREE!


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