Woods Runner Summarizing

Woods Runner  Teaching Activities

Gary Paulsen’s novel is fantastic!

Samuel is a thirteen-year-old boy who lives in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania in 1776. He spends his days in the woods hunting for the people of his village. His neighbors in turn help his parents with their small farm.

One day while Samuel is out hunting, he notices a thick smoke in the direction of his home. He races back to find the entire settlement burned, nine people slaughtered, and his parents missing. Samuel reads the footprints and finds signs of Native Americans along with men he feels are probably British soldiers. They have tied a group of settlers together and are pulling them along through the woods.

Samuel begins tracking his parents. Will he be able to find them and bright them back home? Read Woods Runner to find out.

Woods Runner Activities

Book Unit Samples

Woods Runner Novel Study Samples

This sample includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, and a constructed response question plus answer keys for Woods Runner.

Teaching Idea #1 ~ Woods Runner Summarizing

Woods Runner Teaching Activities

Teach this important skill in a fun way.

Help your students understand the book with this Woods Runner summarizing activity. In this printable, you will receive six booklets that fold from a single piece of paper. The booklets follow the roller-coaster plot diagram. Students write about the following:

  • Exposition
  • The Shot
  • Rescuing Annie
  • Abner
  • Climax
  • Falling Action and Resolution

The handout also includes an answer key for teachers to help guide students with the most important details.

Teaching Idea #2 ~ On the Web


Teaching Idea #3 ~ Audio Version 

Many audio versions of this book can be found on YouTube. In this version, Lindsey Helm reads Woods Runner, one chapter at a time.

Teaching Idea #4 ~ More Ideas

Woods Runner Teaching Activities

Create a map of the story’s setting, including all of the places that Samuel visits throughout the book.

Research the time period in which the book is set and the events that are mentioned in the book. This could include the American Revolution or the Native American tribes.

Choose one of the main characters from the story (such as Samuel, Anne, or Abner) and create a character analysis.

Compare and contrast Woods Runner with other novels such as My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier. Both books are historical fiction set during the American Revolution and follow young boys who are caught up in the conflict.

Teaching Idea #5 ~ Discussion Questions

  1. How did Samuel’s upbringing in the wilderness prepare him for the challenges he faced during the American Revolution?
  2. What role do the Native American characters play in the story, and how does Paulsen portray their interactions with the white settlers and soldiers?
  3. How does the author use descriptive language to create a sense of setting and atmosphere in the book?
  4. What did you think of the book’s ending? Was it satisfying, and did it leave any questions unanswered?


See the product that inspired this post.

Woods Runner Novel Study

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

Gay Miller

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