Pax is a wonderful novel by Sara Pennypacker. In the book, Peter and his much loved pet fox named Pax are separated because of war. The book contains chapters alternating between Peter’s and Pax’s perspectives as they make their way back to each other.
Teaching Idea for the Book
Father and Son Relationships
Peter has a difficult relationship with his father. Explore different father and son relationships by having students listen to songs.
Cat Stevens “Father and Son”
In this song by Cat Stevens, the father tries to give his son advice about how to live his life. The son is tired of being ordered to listen. He needs to go out on his own and make his own decisions; he can’t just simply follow his dad’s advice.
Dan Fogelberg “Leader of the Band”
Dan Fogelberg is honoring his father in this song. He tells a little about his father’s life. He thanks him for giving him the talent of music.
Neil Young “Old Man”
The video with this song is super powerful in its message. It will help the students understand the meaning of the song. The son realizes that he is very much like his father.
Harry Chapin “Cat’s in the Cradle”
The father is super busy working and doesn’t spend time with his son. The son grows up to be just like his father.
Brad Paisley “He Didn’t Have to Be”
This is a son/stepfather relationship. The son loves his stepfather. The son hopes “He is at least half the man that he didn’t have to be.”
Bruce Springsteen “My Father’s House”
The son returns to his father’s house. The house is still there, but his father isn’t. The implied message is that the son and father separated after a disagreement. The son waited a long time to make amends, too long; his father is no longer there.
Will Smith “Just the Two of Us”
The father tells his son how much he loves him. He gives advice to his son about how to be good.
Rodney Atkins “Watching You”
The father tells the story of his small son. The son watches his dad and imitates his father’s actions.
Free Samples from PaxBook Unit
If you would like to try out the book unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:
Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1-2
Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
Constructive Response Question – Character Traits
Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Pax Book Unit
Pax Book Unitcontains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.