Category: Graphic Organizer

Activities to Use with the The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for 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.  Continue Reading

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The Wild Robot Writing Activities

Teaching Ideas to Use with The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown combines a science fiction story involving a robot of the future with a fantasy in which animals talk. The outcome is a book that is both charming and exciting. There is no question about it; your students will love this book!

Writing Ideas for the Book


This free printable with answer key included helps students keep track of the story. Students use the chart to write details about how Roz helps the animals on the island and then how they in return help her. After students complete the chart, it may be used create a T-Chart to compare and contrast the animals to Roz. Continue Reading

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Activities to Use with Brian’s Winter

Diorama from Hatchet and Brian's Winter

Brian’s Winter tells the story of what would have happened to Brian Robeson if the rescue plane had not come at the end of the book Hatchet. Author Gary Paulsen received hundreds of letters from readers who thought Brian had been rescued too soon. He should experience living in the Canadian wilderness during the winter months. Brian’s Winter is Paulsen’s alternate ending to Hatchet.

Check out these activities including dioramas, activities for interactive notebooks, and science experiments to use with Brian’s Winter Continue Reading

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Story Mapping

Story Mapping

Story mapping is a strategy that uses graphic organizers to help students break down text. These visual representations help students examine different components of the story. Creating a story map improves students’ comprehension because they can more easily visualize the framework of a story.

Common Core

Creating a story map helps students practice a large number of Common Core skills as well. Continue Reading

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Where the Red Fern Grows – A Winter Mentor Text

Mentor Text Lesson

When thinking about a winter related book to use as a mentor text, I immediately thought of Where the Red Fern Grows. In the novel, Billy has to battle the winter weather in life and death situations twice. 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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Comparing Cinderella Stories – Ella Enchanted

Cinderella vs. Ella Enchanted Activity

Ella Enchanted is a Cinderella story with a twist. When Ella is born, a fairy named Lucinda gives her the gift of obedience. Now whenever anyone gives Ella an order, she must follow it. At first, Ella’s mother and their cook protect Ella. When Lady Eleanor dies, Ella’s father remarries.

As you can imagine, this causes Ella all kinds of trouble. Her mean stepsisters, Hattie and Olive, pull simple pranks. For example, Hattie tells Ella not to eat. Hattie even orders Ella to stop being friends with Areida. Continue Reading

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