Category: Free Sample Activities

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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Teaching Reading Skills with Animated Christmas Shorts

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high interest activities to your lessons this Christmas season, try using animated shorts to teach reading and writing skills. 

This post contains a sample of my new product “Using Animated Short Films to Teach Reading Skills Christmas.”  The product contains printable organizers with guiding questions to help students evaluate the short film and learn valuable reading skills. All short films will be added to a webpage on Book Units Teacher for easy access. The link to this webpage will be included in the purchased product. 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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I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980

Weeks go by. Mount St. Helens sends up puffs of steam. The police block the road leading up to the mountain. After about two months, Mount St. Helens has calmed down. The road block is removed. Mr. Rowan wants to go back to his fishing cabin to get his fishing pole that he left behind. Jess is excited that she now has a way to get her father’s camera before her mom finds out that she took it.

When Jess and the boys reach the shack, they find the camera intact. Jess packs the camera safely in her backpack. As they leave the shack, Jess smells sulfur. Because of Dr. Morales’s information, she knows Mount St. Helens is about to erupt. In just seconds, they hear a loud Kaboom! Continue Reading

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