Teaching Ideas for Ghost by Reynolds

Teaching Ideas to use with Ghost by Jason ReynonldsIf you are looking for a book will a likable character that will make you laugh and cry, look no further. Ghost is a fantastic book! Throughout the story, the reader follows Castle ‘Ghost’ Crenshaw as he struggles with a mean dad, a school bully, doing what is right and wrong, and belonging. 

Ghost Book Summary


Castle ‘Ghost’ Crenshaw begins by telling the reader about several world records. Just like the people who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, Castle hopes he too will do something special to earn a spot in the book. Castle continues by telling about his normal routine. After school, he goes to Mr. Charles’s store to buy sunflower seeds. Then he goes to the bus stop to watch the people exercising in the gym across the street. Next, Castle reveals his biggest secret. Three years earlier, his dad drank too much, got out a gun, and shot at him and his mom. He was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Rising Action

On his walk home from school, Castle winds up at the park, so he decides to watch track practice. Castle thinks basketball is his game, but he’s never played. As Castle watches the practice, he sees that Lu is really fast, but Castle thinks he could beat him, so he lines up next to Lu just off the track. Coach tells Castle this is a private practice, but Castle refuses to leave. Finally, Coach gives Castle one opportunity to run against Lu. The race is so close that a winner can’t be determined.

As practice ends Coach asks Castle to join the Defenders…

Activities for Ghost

Free Ghost Unit Samples

Teaching Ideas to use with Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Grab your free novel study samples including vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed response writing prompt here.

You can get the free book unit sample by clicking the button.


Teaching Idea #1 – Inspirational Quotes

Teaching Ideas to use with Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Have students create posters from inspirational quotes from the text.

Here are a few quotes that work well for this project.

You can’t run away from who you are, but what you can do is run toward who you want to be.

Trouble is, you can’t run away from yourself…ain’t nobody that fast.

Little. Don’t ever let someone call your life, your dreams, little. Hear me?

Because for something to make you feel tough, you gotta be a little bit scared of it at first. Then you gotta beat it.

Teaching Idea #2 – Symbolism in Ghost 

Teaching Ideas to use with Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Three important symbols in the book Ghost are Castle’s bedroom, the silver bullet running shoes, and sunflower seeds. These printables ask leading questions to get students thinking about the symbols and making connections to the text. An answer key shows example quotes from the text that students could select as proof to support their answers. You can get the handouts by clicking the button.


Teaching Idea #3 – Author Video

Jason Reynold reads the first chapter of his book, Ghost. Learn more about Jason Reynolds at his website.

Teaching Idea #4 – Scratch Art

This YouTube video goes over the steps for creating scratch art. Creating a scratch art runner silhouette is the ideal craft to add to your Ghost novel study unit. Students can freehand runners or find dozens by searching ‘runner silhouette’ on Google. If you wish to save time, you can purchase paper that is already prepared for scratching on Amazon.

Teaching Idea #5 – Activities on the Web

7 Games to Make Running Fun for Kids

How to Teach Ghost

Make a Gold Medal

Boom Learning Decks for Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost by Jason Reynolds Digital Novel Study


See the product that inspired this post.

Purchase Ghost by Jason Reynolds at Teachers Pay Teachers

Ghost Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  



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