My Father’s Dragon
My Father’s Dragon tells the story of Elmer Elevator. Elmer runs away to a Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon. Elmer must use two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, a fine-toothed comb, and other objects to tame fierce beasts. The rescue mission on Wild Island turns into quite an adventure.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Free Printable Activities to use with the Book
The printable contains
Claymation – My Father’s Dragon in 90 Seconds
This youtube video highlights only part of the book. It is excellent! Have students evaluate the video.
Free Audio Book
LibriVox records books that are in Public Domain. This excellent audio book is read by a child. You can download the entire story or listen online chapter by chapter.
If you are lucky enough to have laptops or iPads for your class, you may enjoy using an online version of the book. This one includes the images.
How to Fold and Origami Dragon
I love this video series. It is great to see the projects can be completed by kids. This episode shows how to make an origami dragon.
Teaching Ideas from Random House
This three page printable is from Random House. It includes the following:
Student activities from Storyboard That include:
My Father’s Dragon Book Unit
My Father’s Dragon Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities. Vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice are all included.
June 2017 archive
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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.
One of Weasel’s victims is eleven-year-old Nathan’s pa. Nathan struggles between taking the law in his own hands and letting Weasel go.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Book Opening Lines
Weasel has a great opening line:
The dogs were dozing in their usual places by the fire when the knock came.
This free set of cards contains 20 cards with great opening lines from children’s literature. Have students sort the cards by type:
Bringing Ezra Back by Cynthia DeFelice
Cynthia DeFelice reads from Bringing Ezra Back, the sequel of Weasel. The sequel takes place five months after the book Weasel ends. In the next book, Nathan sees a handbill advertising a show with a ‘white injun.’ Nathan plans to save Ezra from being an exhibit in the traveling show. He sets out from Ohio to Pennsylvania with Orrin Beckwith, a peddler. Along the way, Nathan encounters others who are both helpful and mean.
Compare book covers for the book Weasel.
Weasel Book Unit
Weasel Book Unit contains printables for
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The Tiger Rising
As twelve year old Rob walks through the woods near his Florida home, he stumbles upon a caged tiger. The same day, he meets a girl named Sistine Bailey. Rob is full of bottled up emotions. Before long, he begins confiding his feelings with Sistine. Rob even shows Sistine the tiger. When she sees it, she insists they let it go. This leads to tragedy.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Have students use easek.ly to create character maps of Sistine and Rob.
3D Tour of the Sistine Chapel
Sissy was named after the Sistine Chapel. Have students ‘visit’ the Sistine Chapel using this virtual tour.
Interview with Kate DiCamillo
Online Tiger Printables and How-Tos
Online Teaching Resources
Book Unit Samples
The Tiger Rising Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities. Vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice are all included.
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The Westing Game
Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game will keep the reader guessing ‘who did it’ from beginning to end. The story opens with Barney Northrup selling apartments at the Sunset Towers. Only a selected group of tenants receive an invitation to purchase the luxury estate at affordable prices.
Once the tenants move in, sixteen are invited to a reading of Sam Westing’s will. The heir who can figure out how he died wins Westing’s entire fortune.
This page turner takes many unexpected twists and turns. Not until the last chapter will the reader know the guilty party.
Use Storyboard This to create wanted posters for each of the 16 heirs.
3-D Setting Organizer
I love this idea by Susie Rios. Students not only draw the characters, but write about them inside the window flaps.
Character Trait Cards
With so many suspects, students get confused about who is who. Download this free set of cards (including an answer key) to help students
Book Unit Samples
To prevent you from having to download multiple samples, I included everything in one download. The file includes the following.
#1 ~ Sunset Towers Organizer
#2 ~ Free Samples from The Westing Game Book Unit
#3 ~ Lesson 1 for Writing a Mystery
This graphic organizer helps students figure out the housing arrangements of Sunset Towers.
The Westing Game Book Unit
The Westing Game Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.
Writing a Mystery Unit
For teachers who would like just the Writing a Mystery without the full The Westing Game Book Unit, I have a product for you.
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Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son, learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the ‘Old Ones.’ These are people with ancient knowledge of the Light. The Old Ones have special powers and a destiny to save the world. Will receives instructions to go on a quest to collect six signs. These six signs form a the completed Circle to ward off the forces of the Dark.
Readers cheer Will in hopes that he will be able to collect the signs in time to beat the Dark.
The Dark is Rising Teaching Ideas
Activity #1 – Character Bags
After reading the first few chapters of The Dark is Rising, students decorated bags with characters and symbols from the story. Attaching pieces of yarn, textured fabric, and the like gave the drawings a 3D effect. On the reverse side of the bag, students made predictions about what symbols and objects may be important in the story. As the students read, they brought in objects to fill the bag. At the end of the novel, the actual objects were compared to the predictions that were written on the back of the bags.
Activity #2 Multiple Meaning Words Bulletin Board
In Lesson 6 of The Dark is Rising Book Unit, students studied multi-meaning words. One activity during this lesson is to purposefully misconstrue a multiple-meaning word to make a puzzle for others to solve.
See the bulletin board below with some of the students’ puzzles.
Activity #3 – Reading Makes You Bright
A second bulletin board idea came from Lesson 8 of the novel study on affixes.
Instructions for Students: Stack the four pieces of paper together. Fold them in half vertically. Turn the folded paper so that the fold is at the top like a tent. Staple along the folded edge. Cut two slits beginning at the bottom and heading toward the top of your book to divide the book into three equal sections. Be careful not to cut the whole distance so your book will stay intact. You should have three flaps. You will write prefixes on the first flap, base words in the middle flap, and suffixes on the last flap. Try to think of base words that will give you the most real words possible with the prefixes and suffixes you have chosen.
After cutting out your ornament, glue your flip book onto your Christmas ornament. Flip through your book trying to find real words. Write each real word you find on your ornament.
If you would like to try out The Dark is Rising Book Unit before you buy it, these links contain free samples including:
|Activity #5 Artwork
Have students describe the scenes that are taking place in each drawing.
Activity #6 Movie
Have students watch the movie version and compare it to the book. This free printable will help students compare and contrast.
Activity #7 Links on the Web
Activity #8 The Dark is Rising Book Unit
You can purchase this 400 page unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.
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Making Connections with Text
This is the third of three lessons on teaching ‘Making Connections with Text.’ If you missed the first two lessons you can find them here:
Included in the printable is a three page printable story “The Adventures of Aladdin.”
The story is in the public domain, so it may be used freely. Here is the readability information:
Average Grade Level 6.1
You should be able to read the text out loud in approximately 14 minutes.
Depending on the level and experience of your students, you may wish to read the story out loud to them. Stop and ask leading questions related to making connections.
Interesting Facts about Aladdin
This eight-minute animated story “Aladdin and the Magician” has enough similarities and differences to make it a good version to compare to the text provided.
This download includes the three page story and organizers needed to complete the lesson.
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