Pax by Sara Pennypacker Teaching Ideas

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Teaching Ideas

Are you looking for some fun and interesting Pax teaching activities? You’ve come to the right place. 

In Sara Pennypacker’s gripping and heart-wrenching novel Pax, readers are transported into a world torn apart by war. The bonds of love and loyalty between a young boy and his pet fox are tested in the most devastating of ways.

As the story begins, we meet Peter, a 12-year-old boy forced to part ways with his beloved companion Pax. The two set out on separate journeys. Peter and Pax both confront the harsh realities of war and the sacrifices that must be made in order to survive.

With masterful storytelling, Pennypacker takes readers on a journey of love, loss, and redemption that will stay with them long after the final page is turned.

Pax Teaching Activities

Book Unit Samples

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Novel Study Samples

This sample contains the following:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question – Character Traits

Pax Teaching Activities #1  – Discussion Questions

What are the different themes explored in the novel? How are these themes relevant to our world today?

  • the impact of war on individuals and animals
  • the importance of friendship and loyalty
  • the significance of family, the struggle for survival
  • the need for compassion and understanding

These themes are relevant to our world today because war, conflict, and the struggle for survival continue to impact individuals and communities around the world.

What are the different perspectives on war presented in the book? How does the war affect the human and animal characters in the story?

The book presents different perspectives on war, including the experiences of soldiers, civilians, and animals. The war affects the human and animal characters in the story in different ways:

  • physical injury
  • emotional trauma
  • loss and grief

Pax Teaching Activities #2  – The Book’s Title

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Teaching Ideas

Have students research to determine the significance of the title, Pax.

Pax is the Latin word for peace. The title relates to the themes and events of the story because both Peter and Pax are searching for peace and a sense of belonging in a world that is torn apart by war.

Pax Teaching Activities #3  – The Life of a Fox

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Teaching Ideas

Have students conduct research on foxes, including their habitat, behavior, and relationship with humans.

Foxes are found in many habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and even urban areas. They are highly adaptable animals that can live in close proximity to humans. They are usually most active at night. Foxes are known for their curious and playful behavior. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including small mammals, birds, insects, and fruits.

Foxes are often seen as pests by farmers and homeowners. They can cause damage to crops and livestock. Many people for their beauty and intelligence. In some cultures, foxes are associated with trickery and cunning. In other cultures, foxes are seen as symbols of good fortune.

Foxes are generally shy and avoid contact with people. However, in areas where they have become accustomed to human presence. In some cases, they even rely on human-provided food. In urban areas, foxes have been known to take up residence in gardens, parks, and even under buildings.

Pax Teaching Activities #4  – Father and Son Relationships

Peter has a difficult relationship with his father. Explore different father and son relationships by having students listen to songs.

Cat Stevens “Father and Son”

In this song by Cat Stevens, the father tries to give his son advice about how to live his life. The son is tired of being ordered to listen. He needs to go out on his own and make his own decisions; he can’t just simply follow his dad’s advice.

Dan Fogelberg “Leader of the Band”

Dan Fogelberg is honoring his father in this song. He tells a little about his father’s life. He thanks him for giving him the talent of music.

Neil Young “Old Man”

The video with this song is super powerful in its message. It will help the students understand the meaning of the song. The son realizes that he is very much like his father.

Harry Chapin “Cat’s in the Cradle”

The father is super busy working and doesn’t spend time with his son. The son grows up to be just like his father.

Brad Paisley “He Didn’t Have to Be”

This is a son/stepfather relationship. The son loves his stepfather. The son hopes “He is at least half the man that he didn’t have to be.”

Bruce Springsteen “My Father’s House”

The son returns to his father’s house. The house is still there, but his father isn’t. The implied message is that the son and father separated after a disagreement. The son waited a long time to make amends, too long; his father is no longer there.

Will Smith “Just the Two of Us”

The father tells his son how much he loves him. He gives advice to his son about how to be good.

Rodney Atkins “Watching You”

The father tells the story of his small son. The son watches his dad and imitates his father’s actions.

See the product that inspired this post.

Pax Novel Study

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

Gay Miller
Gay Miller

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