Category: Book Units

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes Activities

Teaching Activities for Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys begins with the death of twelve-year-old Jerome Rogers and slowly unfolds through a series of flashbacks. Jerome lives in an improvised neighborhood in Chicago. His walk to school is dangerous including going past drug dealers. Jerome is bullied for being a good student.

One day a new kid comes to school, Carlos Rodríguez. Jerome knows right away that he is going to be a target for bullies. Jerome decides to help Carlos by showing him how to grab his lunch then eat it in the upstairs restroom. Unfortunately, the bullies find the two and begin beating on Carlos. Jerome draws the attention of the bullies away from Carlos. When he does, Carlos pulls out a gun. The bullies back down and leave. Carlos tells Jerome the gun is just a toy made from plastic. He carried it to school because he was afraid. Continue Reading

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How to Eat Fried Worms Book Unit Ideas

How to Eat Fried Worms Book Unit

In How to Eat Fried Worms, Billy makes a bet with his friend Alan that he can eat 15 worms, one each day, for fifteen days. Tom plans to be Billy’s second, or witness. Joe is going to be Alan’s second. Joe and Alan plan all sorts of schemes to win the bet. In one funny part of the story, Billy pretends that eating the worm has made him crazy. He goes around flapping his arms like a chicken. Students will love reading this hilarious book. 

FREE Teaching Ideas for How to Eat Fried Worms

Activity #1 Pom-Pom Worms

While reading How to Eat Fried Worms, students made worms from pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and wiggly eyes. Every year after I know the novels I plan to teach, I love browsing the pages of Oriental Trading to see what cute, easy projects they provide. Their craft kits are very reasonable priced. Here is a link if you would like to check out this company. Continue Reading

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Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Teaching Ideas

Check out these free novel unit book samples and other teaching ideas for Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson.

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson is an exceptional book about six students who are placed in an experimental class during their 5th/6th grade years. The teacher decides that the last hour of each Friday will be ‘talk time.’ She takes them to an empty classroom and leaves the six alone. Slowly the students open up and talk about their troubles. 


Authorities take Esteban’s father and move him to Florida where he will be deported. Continue Reading

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Schooled by Gordon Korman Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas to Use with the Novel Schooled by Gordon Korman

Thirteen year-old Capricorn “Cap” Anderson lives at Garland, a farm that had once been commune in the 1960’s, with his grandmother Rain. Rain falls and breaks her hip. With no phone to call 9-1-1, Cap drives Rain into the city an hour away. Police arrest Cap for driving without a license and quickly ‘unarrest’ him when they realize how naive Cap is. He doesn’t know he is supposed to have a license in order to drive.

Rain’s broken hip prevents her from returning to Garland for a couple of months. This means Cap must live with the social worker and go to public school for the first time in his life. The students at Claverage (nicknamed C Average by the students) Middle School immediately see Cap as a loser because of his tie-dyed clothing, beads, and long hair. Since it is the custom to pick the lowest person on the social ladder as class president in eighth grade, Cap is elected to the position. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967

Free Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1067

Lauren Tarshis’s seventeenth book in her popular I Survived Series – I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies – tackles the grizzly attacks that took place in Glacier National Park. Readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen next. Continue Reading

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Separate is Never Equal

Enjoy this free lesson for the picture book Separate is Never Equal ~Sylvia Mendez & Her Fight for Desegregation~. Free resources include both printable and digital versions.

Welcome to the Reading Crew’s Link-up

The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a blog link up. Enjoy reading through our posts and collecting free materials to use in your classroom this fall. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post.  Continue Reading

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Novel Study Feedback

Novel Studies Feedback

I am continually looking for ways to improve my novel studies. Because I of this, I am searching for ten volunteers who would like to provide feedback on one of my novel studies in exchange for the free novel study unit plus a $10 TPT gift certificate.

Here’s What You Do

  1. Look through my novel units on TPT. This link will take you to ninety-five choices. Select any unit except the three free units I offer that you plan to teach in the upcoming school year.
  2. Fill out the form below that tells me your name, e-mail address, and first three novel choices. I will try to give everyone their first choice.
  3. As you teach the unit with your students, spend no more than five minutes at the end of each day and jot down notes that you think would help me to improve the unit. This may include the following:
  • typos/mistakes that need to be corrected
  • instructions that are unclear
  • questions students didn’t understand
  • things that went really well (This would be helpful to me when I create future units.)
  • basically any advise would be greatly appreciated

4. When you finish the unit, e-mail me the notes, and I will send you the $10 TPT gift certificate. Continue Reading

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