Category: Book Units

The Lemonade War

The Lemonade War

The Lemonade War features two protagonists in alternating chapters. The Treski siblings have been super close until this summer when a major event changes their lives. A letter arrives at soon-to-be 9-year-old Jessie and 10-year-old Evan’s house telling the brother and sister they are going to be in the same class in school next year. Jessie is skipping the third grade because of her advanced skills. While this is terrific news for Jessie, it is not so good news for her brother Evan. Evan struggles in school. He is super embarrassed that his little sister is going to ‘shine’ and cause everyone to think he is stupid. These balled-up emotions lead to war in the form of who can make the most money selling lemonade during the last few days of summer…

Jessie finds Evan with Scott getting ready to sell lemonade. She is upset that they don’t want her to help especially since Evan doesn’t even like Scott. [Plus setting up a lemonade stand is one of her favorite activities.] The boys tell Jessie she’s not allowed to help with the lemonade stand. Continue Reading

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Dear Mr Henshaw

Teaching Ideas to use with Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr Henshaw uses a unique storytelling method. The entire book is a series of letters and diary entries. This means the main character tells his deepest emotions to the reader through a ‘personal means’ creating a close connection to the reader.

The book begins when Leigh is in 2nd grade. He writes a letter to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw for a class assignment. A new letter to Mr Henshaw follows each year until Leigh becomes a 6th grader. Leigh’s 6th-grade year is the focus of the majority of the novel. Continue Reading

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Brian’s Winter Figurative Language

Free Figurative Language Activity to use with Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

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.

Using Gary Paulsen’s Writing as a Mentor Text

Gary Paulsen’s writing is a gold mine when it comes to teaching students how to enhance their narrative writings. Paulsen uses a lot of detail to take the reader into the character’s world. Rich descriptions, backstories, and character motives weave together pulling the reader into the story. Continue Reading

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There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

I love books about kids who turn their lives around. That is the main theme of There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom. The story begins withBradley Chalkers,  the oldest student in 5th grade because he repeated 4th. He is known by all students and teachers as the biggest bully in the school. Bradley sits in the last row, last seat of Mrs. Ebbel’s class, so he won’t disturb the other students. He spends his time cutting paper and scribbling on his assignments.

Book Summary

Jeff Fishkin

A new student, Jeff Fishkin, moves to Red Hill School from Washington, DC. He is assigned the seat next to Bradley because all the others are full. Bradley begins a relationship with Jeff by first taking a dollar from him and later saying he will give him a dollar if he will be his friend. Continue Reading

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Crandes Teaching Activities

Your students are going to love these Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes activities!

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Summary

The atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. At this time, Sadako was two years old. The story begins eleven years later. Sadako wakes up energetic and excited because she enjoys the celebrations of Peace Day. Continue Reading

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Teaching Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Teaching Ideas and Free Book Unit Samples

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing will have your students rolling with laughter. The story tells about Peter Hatcher who lives close to Central Park in New York City with his parents and younger brother Fudge. The novel centers around the events that take place during Peter’s fourth grade year. Most of Peter’s problems are due to the misbehavior of Peter’s 2-3 year old brother. Chapters in the novel are individual episodes of Peter’s life.

Summaries of the First Chapters

Peter goes to his best friend’s birthday party and wins a small turtle by guessing the closest number of jelly beans in the jar. Peter is super excited with his new pet and names the turtle Dribble. Continue Reading

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Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom Free Novel Study Samples

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom is a novel about the students in Mrs. Jewls’s class. Her classroom is on the top floor of an unusual school that is 30 stories high with one classroom on each floor. Several plots arise featuring the students of this class.

Here are a few subplots to pique your interest. Continue Reading

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