Teaching Ideas for Holes by Louis Sachar

Teaching Ideas for Holes by Louis Sachar

Are you looking for some teaching ideas for Holes by Louis Sachar? You’ll find printable character trait booklets, recipes, and much more in this post.

Louis Sachar hit it out of the park with his novel Holes.

Accused of a crime he did not commit, Stanley Yelnats is sentenced to Camp Green Lake for rehabilitation. Almost immediately, Stanley realizes digging a large hole each day is not just punishment. The Warden is looking for something special.

While digging Stanley thinks about his family’s history. Through these flashbacks, two additional stories are told. These plots weave together to form a complex and wonderful novel.

If you haven’t read the book Holes, you are in for a real treat! 

Teaching Ideas for Holes


#2 Character Trait Booklets

Create each mini-book from a single piece of paper, folded to form a book. The finished books contain 6 pages where students can list character traits for the main characters. This is a valuable tool for a book such as Holes with three-story plots taking place and many characters to remember. Just click on the image below to download the free printables for this activity. An answer key is included to make this activity a print-and-go project.

Get your free character trait booklets here.

Free Printable Character Trait Booklets to use with Holes by Louis Sachar

#3 Figurative Language

The soundtrack for the 2003 movie of Holes contains some incredible songs. Using quotes from the book as well as lyrics from the soundtrack makes Holes an ideal book for teaching figurative language. Here you will find four PowerPoints to help you:

Click on the image of the PowerPoint Presentation you wish to download.

NOTE:  If you have difficulty playing the audio clips in the PowerPoints, here is the link to a zipped file containing all four PowerPoint presentations along with the audio files.

SECOND NOTE: The student packet referred to in the PowerPoints is part of the Holes Book Unit which can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers.


#4 Character Traits

 Assign each student one character from Holes. The student is to write a character description from the first person point of view. Click here to read all character descriptions. 

Character Traits from Holes

#5 Dig Activity

The bags were placed on the floor in a grid formation. Students read clues to determine which bag they must “dig” into. The bags held objects from the story such as plastic lizards, a mini treasure chest, a can of very old peaches, a golden lipstick tube, and a fish fossil. After collecting the objects, students discussed the significance of each.

Dig Activity from Holes
Dig Activity from Holes


# 6 Onion Dip

Onions play an important role in the characters’ lives in the book Holes. In the past, Sam, the onion man, cured the townsfolk of all types of ailments with his onion remedies. Even when doctors could not heal the sick, Sam could.

Years later Stanley and Zero eat onions on God’s Thumb to regain their strength after days in the desert. Here again, onions had healing power.

After reading about onions, we made this delicious dip from onions.

Onion Dip Activity from Holes

Onion Dip Activity from Holes

Here is the recipe we used:

  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese — cubed
  • 3 large Vidalia Onions — steamed
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese — grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme

Combine cream cheese and cream in Crock-Pot.
Cover and heat until cheese is melted 30 to 60 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients.
Cover and heat for 30 minutes.
Serve with raw vegetables, crackers, or bread pieces.


# 7 Spiced Peaches

Similar to onions, peaches are important to the characters in Holes. Katherine Barlow made deliciously spiced peaches. She used these peaches to pay Sam for the work he did on the schoolhouse. Zero found some of these peaches in the boat, the Mary Lou. He was able to survive living in the desert by using the overturned boat as shelter and eating the spiced peaches.

Spiced Peaches Activity from Holes

Here is the recipe we used:

Spiced Peaches Recipe

Students enjoyed making spiced peaches. We served them warm over vanilla ice cream. YUM!!



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    • Pat on March 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Love your recipes!

  1. The recipes are astonishing! Thank you so much for the written directions. Very easy and fast! Sound delicious! Keep it up, sir!

  2. I am not a teacher, but I find these activities helpful. I’ll try them out with my little son! I’m sure he’ll enjoy making spiced peaches.

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