The city of Ember is dying. Power failures become more frequent and longer. The sky is dark. Outside the city, darkness looms in the Unknown Regions.
Lina Mayfleet finds a set of instructions she believes will help her find a way out of the city. Unfortunately, her baby sister finds the instructions first and chews holes in them. Lina and her friend, Doon Harrow, race against time and a corrupt mayor to piece together the clues in these instructions to save the people from their dying city.
Read this novel by Jeanne DuPrau to see if Lina and Doon are successful in their quest.
The City of Ember Activities
Book Unit Samples
This sample contains all activities for Chapters 3-4 including:
- vocabulary practice
- comprehension questions
- constructed response questions on perspective
- foods in Ember
- direct quotations
- answer keys
Teaching Idea #1 ~ Moth Life Cycle Craft
The author, Jeanne DuPrau, includes a storyline about Doon finding a caterpillar that turns into a moth. Our students created the life cycle of a moth as part of this integrated science-art project.
Students built each stage of the life cycle on a die-cut leaf.
- caterpillar -pompoms and a pipe cleaner
- eggs and larvae – cotton balls and pipe cleaner
- butterfly – crepe paper streamers and a construction paper body with wiggly eyes
Teaching Idea #2 ~ Pineapple Treat
Granny remembers eating pineapple as a special treat when she was a young girl. Students created this pineapple treat with Twinkie’s Hostess Cakes, vanilla pudding, pineapple, cherries, and whip cream.
Teaching Idea #3 ~ Lina’s Dream City
Students had a lesson on perspective drawing as they created cities from Lina’s dreams. Their finished drawings were colorful and made a great display.
Teaching Idea #4 ~ Character Maps
Students really enjoyed this character mapping activity.
First, each student selected a character from the novel. Next, students drew pictures of the characters. To quickly turn the drawings into digital images, we took pictures of the drawings using a digital camera.
To create the character maps, students used the SmartArt template in PowerPoint. This template can be found under the “Relationship” section in SmartArt. The template was formatted by adding an additional shape. Students changed the circles to rounded rectangles. Next, students selected a color for their maps. The middle rectangle was filled with the jpg of the drawing.
Finally, students typed five character traits in the “bubbles” around the characters. Creating these maps was both fun for students and a great learning exercise.
This activity not only covers several Common Core Literature Standards, but it also taught students how to create a graphic in PowerPoint. This knowledge can be used again when building visual displays for presentations.
Teaching Idea #5 ~ Bulletin Board Idea
I teach with a wonderful team of teachers. One of them came up with a fantastic idea. The bulletin board was relatively empty when we began reading The City of Ember. As the book progressed, so did the board.
Get a closer look at what is included on the bulletin board. Note that this link takes you to the same page as the step-by-step recipe listed above.
Teaching Idea #6 ~ Story Map and More
This free printable includes 7-half pages. The City of Ember Story Map asks students to write about a number of topics from the book including the theme, characters, point of view, setting, etc.
See the product that inspired this post.
The City of Ember Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.