Category: Teaching Idea
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Word Wheels – A Teaching Strategy
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The People of Sparks
In The People of Sparks, the sequel to The City of Ember, the Emberites leave their cave home. After journeying for a couple of days, they come to a village called Sparks. Here they find a group of people who although aren’t openly hostile are certainly not welcoming. The two groups of people must learn to get along. Meanwhile Lina takes off in search of her dream city.
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau is a must read novel for all lovers of The City of Ember.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Resources on the Web
Once the Emberites come to Sparks, the community is divided in two. The people in Sparks do not wish to give up their vital resources. They fear their winter supplies will be too low. The Emberites have no concept of winter. They cannot understand why the villagers are being stingy. The villagers provide the refugees with only the bare essentials for living. Over time the quantity and quality of the food provided reduces. Eventually, the Spark’s leaders vote to stop having the Emberites in their homes for dinner.
Communication is low. Hostility grows between the two sets of people. The Emberites learn they will be ejected from the village in the middle of winter. Negative feelings escalate. Petty exchanges of revenge take place. Finally the groups are at war. Ben brings out the ‘Terrible Weapon.’ The machine gun explodes. This creates a threatening fire.
Refugees are people who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons. Most leave their homeland because they fear their safety. Estimates show that at least 60 million people were displaced in 2015.
Another reason for fleeing a region is global climate change. Water and food are scare in some parts of the world. Have students compare the Emberites to a group of refugees in today’s world.
Resources for Further Study
Discussion on the Effects of War
The reader learns that the Builders took a group of people underground to prevent the race from completely dying. Four wars and plague had nearly destroyed the population. What effects does war have?
Here is a little information to get you started:
Revolutionary War Statistics
George Washington had all his forces vaccinated for small pox. After this the death rate by this disease decreased from 17% to 1%.
Causalities of the Revolutionary War
The People of Sparks Book Unit
The People of Sparks Book Unit contains vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice are all included.
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Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Roy Eberhardt teams with Beatrice and her brother, Mullet Fingers. They wish to stop the Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House Corporation from building a pancake house on a vacant lot. The lot has become home to a group of endangered burrowing owls. The three scheme to prevent the corporation from bulldozing the owls’ home. Read the touching and hilarious novel Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Compare the Movie to the Book
This free printable contains organizers to help students compare the book to the movie.
Hoot on the Web
This idea came from Sweet and Living Simple. You will find step-by-step instructions on her site.
Hoot Book Unit
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen Book Unit contains vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.
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Making Connections with Text
This is the second of three lessons on teaching ‘Making Connections with Text.’ If you missed Lesson #1, you can see it here.
In this lesson students are going to do the following:
Activity #1 Making Connections with Text
Print the handout provided. Read The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. A short version of this story is provided on the handout. If you prefer, you can have students read another version of the story.
Have students complete the handout by writing statements about the text. For each statement, students must select which type of connection is being made.
Activity #2 Making Text-to-Self Connections
In the next printable provided, students select one of the characters from The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. They then complete the Venn Diagram to compare and contrast
Activity #3 Making Text-to Text Connections
Two printables are provided. The first contains short excerpts from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for students to know a little about the characters Veruca Salt and Charlie Bucket.
The next handout contains a Venn Diagram for students to compare The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Activity #4 Text-to-World
A final handout is provided with a couple of links. These go to statistical information and facts about the richest and poorest Americans. Students can use this information to make connections to The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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The War with Grandpa
In The War with Grandpa, ten-year-old Peter learns from his little sister that Grandpa is going to come to live with his family. He will be staying in Peter’s room because his bad leg won’t allow him to climb two flights of stairs up to the guest bedroom.
Peter becomes angry that Grandpa will move into HIS room. Shortly after moving in, Peter devises a series of pranks to drive out Grandpa. Grandpa does not give up easily causing a “war” between the two.
Ideas for the Book
Watch the Movie
An adaptation of Robert Kimmel Smith’s book will be in theaters on October 20, 2017. The movie began filming May 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert De Niro is playing the part of Grandpa. The cast will also include Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Christopher Walken, and Cheeech Marin. Peter is being played by Oakes Fegle from Pete’s Dragon.
Compare and Contrast the Book to the Movie
These organizers may be used to compare any book with its movie. .
Comparing You and Grandpa
This link contains a printable Venn Diagram from students to compare themselves with a grandparent.
This week long set of lessons from readwritethink includes some terrific ideas. Students not only create a family timeline, but also interview a family member. The lesson are designed for 3-5 graders which matches perfectly with The War with Grandpa.
The War with Grandpa Book Unit
The War with Grandpa Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.
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