Category: Book Units

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Teaching Activities for Wishtree  by  Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate writes a beautiful story with a unique main character. Wishtree is told from the first person perspective of a 216 year old oak tree named Red. Red is special in several ways. People write wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches each May. Because of this, Red has witnessed a lot of sadness from humans.

Red tells stories to the animals that live in its hollows about the past. This time Red decides not to be an observer. Red jumps into action after seeing the sadness of a Muslim girl named Samar. Samar’s wish is simple. She wishes for a friend. Red enlists her crow friend Bongo to help make Samar’s wish come true. Continue Reading

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I Survived the American Revolution, 1776

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the American Revolution, 1776

Lauren Tarshis writes the fifteenth book in her popular I Survived Series – I Survived the American Revolution. The series began with I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 in 2010. Since then, two books each year have been published. Readers can experience both natural and man-made disasters through this series. Fire, war, storms, and even shark attacks will keep the reader engaged. 

The Story

I Survived the American Revolution, 1776 tells the story of Nate. When three-year old Theo accidentally hits Uncle Storch with a stick, Nate takes the blame. As his cruel uncle begins to choke him, Nate realizes me must run away from home in order to survive. Nate stows away on a ship. He winds up in New York City. The city is not the place Nate remembers. Boarded up buildings line the street. Soldiers build large earthen barricades. Not knowing what to do, Nate just walks. He observes all the preparations for war. Nate soon runs into an old friend who gets him a job as the camp helper for the Connecticut 15th. Through a series of events, Nate ends up on the battlefield. The thrilling story of courage is a must read. Continue Reading

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Wish by Barbara O’Connor Teaching Activities

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

After seeing a cardinal, close your eyes, spit three times, and make a wish. — You can make a wish if you clap three times before crossing a state line. — You can make a wish if you see a camel-shaped cloud.

The Story

These are just a few of the unusual things Charlie uses to make her daily wish; the same wish she has made every day since fourth grade.  Continue Reading

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The Secret Garden – Chapter 27 In the Garden

Free Teaching Materials to use with The Secret Garden Chapter 27

Chapter 27 In the Garden

The audio file for Chapter 27 “In the Garden” is 30 minutes 56 seconds in length.

Handouts

In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live. Continue Reading

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The Secret Garden – Chapter 26 It’s Mother

Free Teaching Materials to use with The Secret Garden Chapter 26

Chapter 26 It’s Mother

The audio file for Chapter 26 “It’s Mother” is 17 minutes 44 seconds in length.

Handouts

Their belief in the Magic was an abiding thing. After the morning’s incantations Colin sometimes gave them Magic lectures. Continue Reading

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The Secret Garden – Chapter 25 The Curtain

Free Teaching Materials to use with The Secret Garden Chapter 25

Chapter 25 The Curtain

The audio file for Chapter 25 “The Curtain” is 12 minutes 59 seconds in length.

Handouts

And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles. In the robin’s nest there were Eggs and the robin’s mate sat upon them keeping them warm with her feathery little breast and careful wings. At first she was very nervous and the robin himself was indignantly watchful. Even Dickon did not go near the close-grown corner in those days, but waited until by the quiet working of some mysterious spell he seemed to have conveyed to the soul of the little pair that in the garden there was nothing which was not quite like themselves—nothing which did not understand the wonderfulness of what was happening to them—the immense, tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity of Eggs. If there had been one person in that garden who had not known through all his or her innermost being that if an Egg were taken away or hurt the whole world would whirl round and crash through space and come to an end—if there had been even one who did not feel it and act accordingly there could have been no happiness even in that golden springtime air. But they all knew it and felt it and the robin and his mate knew they knew it. Continue Reading

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The Secret Garden – Chapter 24 Let Them Laugh

Free Teaching Materials to use with The Secret Garden Chapter 24

Chapter 24 Let Them Laugh

The audio file for Chapter 24 “Let Them Laugh” is 20 minutes 57 seconds in length.

Handouts

The secret garden was not the only one Dickon worked in. Round the cottage on the moor there was a piece of ground enclosed by a low wall of rough stones. Early in the morning and late in the fading twilight and on all the days Colin and Mary did not see him, Dickon worked there planting or tending potatoes and cabbages, turnips and carrots and herbs for his mother. In the company of his “creatures” he did wonders there and was never tired of doing them, it seemed. While he dug or weeded he whistled or sang bits of Yorkshire moor songs or talked to Soot or Captain or the brothers and sisters he had taught to help him. Continue Reading

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