Category: Writing

Comparing Parallel Stories using Number the Stars

Terrific free activity to use with Number the Stars

The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a link up. This time we are sharing mentor texts. Enjoy collecting a lot of great teaching ideas and free printables. Before you leave, be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post. We are giving away copies of each mentor book from the posts. Have a great time exploring our blog posts, and I hope you have the best school year ever!

Number the Stars Activity #1

Number the Stars is a phenomenal story of courage. This makes it a great book for students to use as a writing prompt. Continue Reading

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Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice

Teaching Ideas to use with the Novel Weasel by   Cynthia DeFelice

Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice is a historical fiction novel.

After the Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. government hires a man, known as Weasel, to remove the Shawnees from the Ohio Territory. Once all the Native Americans have fled, Weasel stays in Ohio. He then turns on the white settlers.  Continue Reading

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Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

Among the Hidden Writing Prompts

In Among the Hidden, twelve year old Luke lives in a future dystonia society where the government has passed a law banning parents from having more than two children. The story opens with Luke, an illegal third child, enjoying his last minutes of freedom outdoors. The government has bought the woods behind Luke’s house to build a neighborhood of mansions. Without the woods as cover and with neighbors living so close, Luke must hide indoors.

Check out these five great writing prompts to use with Among the Hidden Continue Reading

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The Castle in the Attic

Free Foldable Organizer for Writing a Citation

William has used the magical Janus medal to shrink Mrs. Phillips, his beloved nanny, down to the size of his index finger. He thinks this is the only way to keep her from leaving him and returning to her home in England. William takes her to the attic to live in a magical toy castle.

Sir Simon who also lives in the magical castle has lost his kingdom to the evil wizard Alastor. He asks William to shrink himself, so that he can go on a quest to not only help Sir Simon defeat Alastor but to retrieve the second half of the Janus medal so that Mrs. Phillip can return to her normal size. Will William be able to defeat the evil wizard Alastor, help Sir Simon, and return Mrs. Phillips to her normal self? Read The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop to see if William is successful in his quest. Continue Reading

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Sentence Problems Unit (Combining Sentences and Correcting Run-Ons)

Recognizing Sentence Problems Organizer

This Sentence Writing Unit includes a PowerPoint and set of graphic organizers that teach students about sentence problems, combining sentences, and correcting run-on sentences. 

Inclusion Classroom Activity

As an inclusion teacher, I was responsible for creating/planning every other unit. One unit I created was a series of lessons on sentences. I used themes and sample sentences from the upcoming novel we were going to study. The unit was great. Students learned a lot and enjoyed the lessons. All was well. Continue Reading

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Expanding Vocabulary

Word Wheel

When students use the same tired words over and over, their writing becomes dull. The Internet is full of lists you can provide students; however, students learn by creating their own “Wow Word” lists. 

First, decide what you wish to call overused words: Continue Reading

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When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Free Writing Project to use with the book Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Red shoes are an important symbol in the book Crash by Jerry Spinelli. This made me think about what types of shoes would represent the main characters. This turned into “When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli.” This is a free printable activity that can be used as an interactive notebook activity.


Crash is extremely athletic. Because he excels in sports, he gets attention from the other students in his school. He is especially proud when he can beat the older (8th graders) students. Continue Reading

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