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Animal in the Spotlight

If you have purchased the Hank the Tank Activity Book, use your Purchaser's code to unlock the Hank the Tank Downloadable Resources page which includes:

5 Game Boards

15 Pages of Flash Cards for Articulation and/or Reading Practice

45+ Reproducible Activity Pages


To find out more about the decodable chapter book and supplemental activity book, keep reading.

Hank the Tank Book Front Cover with a bear sitting down

Chapter Book

In February of 2022, a black bear by the name of Hank the Tank made international news after he reportedly broke into dozens of homes in South Lake Tahoe. Concerned citizens made over 100 calls to the local authorities about a bear scavenging for food and destroying property. Authorities feared they would have to euthanize Hank.


Fortunately, Hank’s life was saved by science. Wildlife biologists made a very interesting discovery in the DNA left behind at the break-ins. Read the story to find out what happened. It is written in verse and is a fictional account, but it was inspired by real events. Then read the background information to learn about the Real Hank, interesting facts about black bears, and tips for coexisting with wildlife.


The story portion of the book was written to align with Level 2 of the HOT ROD Series (Higher Order Thinking Through the Reading of Decodables). It focuses on closed vowel sounds, digraphs (ck, ch, sh, th, ng), combinations (wh, qu), and nk. The Background Information section was written at approximately a 6th-grade reading level for independent reading (5th-grade for instructional level).


This book was specially designed for older students (grades 4 and up) and even adults who would benefit from controlled reading practice. Specific modifications are provided for grades 2-6+. Books in the series may be used to complement any reading program but were specifically designed for teachers who are implementing the Science of Reading in their instruction. There are also tips for parents on how to use a strategy called Pair and Share reading. The adult reads the Background Information, and the student reads the story, which is the portion written as a controlled text. Because of the focus on specific sound patterns, this book also provides an opportunity for children with articulation disorders to work on words in a story context with a speech-language pathologist. The higher-level vocabulary used in the background information section makes this book appropriate for students in general education as well. Lists are provided for target sound words as well as two different levels of vocabulary.


Available in hard cover, paperback or e-book at, Barnes & Noble, or through your local bookstore.

Activity Book

The Hank the Tank Activity Book is based on Hank the Tank: Animal in the Spotlight from the HOT ROD Series of Decodable Books. The chapter book is needed for many, but not all, of the activities. The Downloadable PDFs that accompany the Activity Book and online Boom Card games explore over 50 different games and activities supporting reading, writing, and speech-language development. Learn how the activities described below fit into the 24 categories of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. See the introduction to each section to learn how activities connect to the Science of Reading. Use this resource in person or via tele-education. Developed for teachers, dyslexia interventionists, speech-language pathologists, and parent educators, it promotes collaboration between these groups.


DECODING & ARTICULATION: Target Word Flashcards explore ck, sh, th, ch, tch, ng, nk, th, wh, and qu.


PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS:  Work on sound and syllable deletion. Change one sound at a time to create new words. Develop awareness of rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, and stress.


COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY: Sort words by phonological and semantic features.


MORPHOLOGY: Explore Suffix ING, Prefix RE,  Root TRACT, and bear etymology.


VOCABULARY: 15 different activities explore words before, during, and after reading and include strategies for using context clues. Reread the story using the Scavenger Hunts to solve word puzzles.


SENTENCE AWARENESS & CONSTRUCTION: Explore helping verbs and learn how verbs can be used as adjectives. Combine short sentences using coordinating conjunctions. Answer questions to build sentences. Judge if sentences are complete or incomplete.


PLOT STRUCTURE: Complete a Story Frames storyboard. Use it for story retells and summaries.


GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS: Support writing at the sentence, paragraph, and multiple-paragraph level.


COMPREHENSION:  Use the PAGES Strategy to check for comprehension. Distinguish between the Main Idea and supporting details. Practice answering questions about the book using the RACE format.


PARAGRAPH & ESSAY WRITING: Brainstorm paragraphs. Then construct a compare & contrast essay.


CREATE: Have fun with creative writing prompts.

The Hank the Tank Activity Book is available in paperback on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or through your local bookstore. 

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Hank The Tank Audiobook

Get the audiobook of Hank The Tank: Animal in the Spotlight through Amazon or Apple Books.

Hank The Tank Free Wordlist

Listen to the wordlists from Hank The Tank here for Free!

Get the full audiobook through Amazon or Apple Books.

Hank The Tank Wordlists
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