If you’re searching for fun and engaging How to Steal a Dog teaching activities, your quest ends here. Check out these teaching ideas inspired by this heartwarming book.
How to Steal a Dog is a novel by Barbara O’Connor that tells the story of Georgina, a young girl who decides to steal a dog and return it for a reward to help her homeless family. She faces moral dilemmas, unexpected friendships, and surprising twists. This novel is a heartwarming and realistic portrayal of the struggles and hopes of a child living in poverty. It also explores family, loyalty, honesty, and courage themes.
In this post, I provide ideas for your classroom and offer free novel study samples, making your teaching experience memorable. You will find crafts, food activities, music, and more inspired by the novel. You will also get free novel study samples that include Chapters 1–2 vocabulary and comprehension questions. These resources will help enhance your students’ reading experience and spark their creativity and critical thinking skills.
How to Steal a Dog Teaching Activities
Teaching Idea #1 – Novel Study Samples
This PDF contains samples from the How to Steal a Dog Novel study and handouts and links from all the activities discussed in the blog post.
Teaching Idea #2 – Matching Songs to the Novel’s Themes and Emotions
Read this excerpt from Chapter 7:
“We’d spent the weekend in that old house and I was beginning to think I’d rather sleep in the car again. Mama had got some stuff at a yard sale to try to make things better. A plastic raft for us to take turns sleeping on. A radio that ran on batteries. An alarm clock. Stuff like that.”
Imagine the songs that Georgina and Toby listen to on the radio are “You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. Have students explain how the emotions and themes conveyed in the selected songs tie in with the novel.
In the handout, you will find a student handout that walks students through this activity.
Teaching Idea #3: Symbolism
Make a symbol snack mix using the marshmallow shapes in Lucky Charms cereal. Each shape represents a different symbol or event from the novel. For example, the clover shape represents the clover flowers that Georgina picks for her mother every May Day and the May basket she makes with the clover flowers and other items. You can find the explanations for each shape in the handout.
Teaching Idea #4 – Color-By-Number Character Traits
This color-by-number activity is a fantastic hands-on approach that reinforces comprehension of the story and makes it a memorable experience. As students fill in the colors on their dog-themed pictures, they’ll uncover clues and details about the characters, actions, quotes, and personalities. This activity encourages close reading. It’s a wonderful addition to your literature curriculum, allowing students to explore the novel in a fun and interactive manner.
Teaching Idea #5: Audio Book
Bree Heeke is a third-grade teacher at Hardin Park Elementary School in Boone, North Carolina. She uses her YouTube channel to share her passion for reading and teaching with her students and viewers. She also interacts with her audience through comments and questions. Bree Heeke is an example of how teachers can use technology to enhance instruction and engage learners. Check out her reading of How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor.
Teaching Idea #6: On the Web
Visit Barbara O’Connor’s official website. The webpage provides information about How to Steal a Dog, such as the summary, reviews, and awards. It also offers teaching ideas for educators who want to use the book in their classrooms, such as discussion questions, writing prompts, and activities. Be sure to watch the book trailer.
This handout from the publisher includes discussion questions.