Because of Mr. Terupt Theme

Because of Mr. Terupt  Teaching Activities

Because of Mr. Terupt is a phenomenal book! Mr. Terupt is the new 5th-grade teacher at Snow Hill School in Connecticut. Among his class are the seven narrators of the story. Each narrator has a unique problem s/he must work through. Peter is the class clown. He blurts out comments and is mischievous. Jessica has just moved from California after her parents split up. Anna is an extremely quiet student. Her mother had her when she was just 16, so she is considered an outcast. Luke is the class genius. Danielle is overweight. Her family is super religious and thinks she should only be friendly with “acceptable” students. Jeffrey has hidden problems that he won’t talk about. Lexie is the class diva. She dresses in flamboyant clothing and starts a girl war by telling lies.

Read Because of Mr. Terupt to see how these characters interact with one another in a time of crisis.

Activities for Because of Mr. Terupt

Book Unit Samples

Because of Mr. Terupt Book Unit Samples

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  – Theme

Main characters in Because of Mr. Terupt

With so many conflicts to solve, Because of Mr. Terupt is a perfect book for teaching themes. In this activity, students complete a table by thinking about the main characters in the book. What challenge, problem, or conflict does each character go through? Add what the characters learn. In what important way does each character change? These will be the major themes in the book.

You can download the free printable here.

Teaching Idea #2  – Classroom Discussion

Discussion Questions for Because of Mr. Terupt


  • What are some of the different ways that the seven main characters interact with each other throughout the novel?
  • How do these interactions change over time, and why?
  • How do the characters in the novel demonstrate empathy and kindness towards each other?
  • What impact do these actions have on the story and on the characters themselves?


Mr. Terupt:

  • What do you think the author is trying to say about the role of teachers in the lives of their students?
  • How does Mr. Terupt’s teaching style compare to other teachers in the novel?

Theme Forgiveness:

  • What are some of the different ways that forgiveness is demonstrated throughout the book?

  • What are some of the challenges that the characters face when trying to forgive each other?

Character Change:

  • In what ways do the characters change and grow over the course of the novel?

  • How do their experiences with Mr. Terupt impact their personal growth and development?

Teaching Idea #3  – Persuasive Writing

Teaching Ideas for Because of Mr. Terupt

Have students write a persuasive essay on a topic related to the novel. 

Possible topics include:

  • Is Mr. Terupt an effective teacher?
  • Do the characters learn valuable life lessons?
  • Does the book accurately reflects what it’s like to be a fifth-grader?

Teaching Idea #4  – Creative Projects

Teaching Ideas for Because of Mr. Terupt
  1. Write a sequel or a prequel.
  2. Create a board game based on the novel.
  3. Make a movie trailer for the book. Use multimedia tools like iMovie or Adobe Spark. Use images, sound effects, and music to capture the book’s main themes and attract other readers.
  4. Keep a personal reflection journal explaining how specific scenes in the book impact your life. 
  5. Choose one or more characters from the book and create a portrait of them using different art materials like paint, markers, or colored pencils.
  6. Create a memory box inspired by the book’s theme of forgiveness. Fill it with items that represent things they have forgiven or been forgiven for.
  7. Create a podcast episode that discusses the book’s main themes and characters.

Teaching Idea #5  – Recreate Some of Mr. Terupt’s Projects

Teaching Ideas for Because of Mr. Terupt

The students like Mr. Terupt almost immediately. He has fun and engaging projects:

  • Dollar Words
  • Plant Experiments
  • Figuring how Many Blades of Grass the Soccer Field Has
  • Visiting the Collaborative Classroom
  • Celebrating Different Winter Holidays
  • Class Meeting
  • A Paper Chain Reward System

Teaching Idea #6 – Audible Version of the Book

You’ll find dozens of YouTube videos featuring readers of Because of Mr. Terupt

See the product that inspired this post.

Because of Mr. Terupt Novel Study

Because of Mr. Terupt Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

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