There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

There’s a Boy in the Girls’ BathroomI love books about kids who turn their lives around. That is the main theme of There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom. The story begins with Bradley Chalkers,  the oldest student in 5th grade because he repeated 4th. He is known by all students and teachers as the biggest bully in the school. Bradley sits in the last row, last seat of Mrs. Ebbel’s class, so he won’t disturb the other students. He spends his time cutting paper and scribbling on his assignments.

Book Summary

Jeff Fishkin

A new student, Jeff Fishkin, moves to Red Hill School from Washington, DC. He is assigned the seat next to Bradley because all the others are full. Bradley begins a relationship with Jeff by first taking a dollar from him and later saying he will give him a dollar if he will be his friend.

 Carla Davis

A new counselor, Carla Davis, also comes to Red Hill School. Both Jeff – because he is new to the school – and Bradley – because of his behavior – are assigned sessions with Carla. On his first visit to see Carla, Jeff gets two sets of directions from a teacher telling him where her office is located. Jeff confuses these instructions and accidentally ends up in the girls’ bathroom [creating the name for the book].

Carla is young, kind, and unique. She wants students to reason through their problems instead of her telling them what they need to do. Bradley and Carla instantly connect although Bradley is slow to show his emotions.

Colleen

A student named Colleen has a crush on Jeff. Colleen and her two closest friends, Melinda and Lori, discuss Colleen’s feelings throughout the novel.

Bradley

Bradley slowly begins to make changes in his life. He wants his teacher to give him a gold star for good work. Bradley’s inner emotions are revealed to the reader through role playing Bradley does with a set of animals he owns. A bear named Bartholomew represents Bradley and a rabbit named Ronnie represents Carla. The other animals including a kangaroo, fox, donkey, and lion become different people in Bradley’s life.

The Girls

Colleen goes to Carla even though she doesn’t have permission because she wants to invite Jeff to her birthday party. She knows she will need to invite at least one other boy, but doesn’t want to invite Bradley who appears to be Jeff’s only friend.

Jeff invites Bradley over to his house to help him do his homework. The girls meet up with the boys along the way. Melinda ends up hitting Bradley and giving him a black eye. Bradley becomes angry with Jeff because Jeff is invited to play basketball by the other boys leaving Bradley on his own. This causes Bradley to tell his mom that Jeff gave him the black eye. This causes a big rift between Jeff who wants to have friends and Bradley.

Read the book to see how the girls, Bradley and Jeff go from ‘enemies’ to friends.

Download the free book unit sample here.

Activities for
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

Free Book Unit Samples

Grab you free novel study samples including vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed response writing prompt here.

An Edible Treat

The reader knows that Bradly likes peanut butter….

p. 32 “What are you eating?” asked Jeff. “Peanubudder sandige,” said Bradley. As he spoke, bits of peanut butter and bread flew from his mouth. “Wha’ bou’ you?” “Tuna fish,” said Jeff. Bradley swallowed his food and said, “I hate tuna fish.”

And doesn’t like oatmeal…

p. 95 “I hate hot cereal,” he complained.

“You’ll eat what you’re served,” said his father. “This isn’t a restaurant.”

He frowned, not because he had to eat oatmeal, but because he realized he never should have said he hated it. That was something the Bad Bradley would say. The Good Bradley liked hot, lumpy cereal. He took a big spoonful, brought it to his mouth, and swallowed the glop.

Would Bradley like peanut butter and oatmeal mixed together in cookies? You bet! This special treat is a kid pleaser and easy to do in the classroom with a hot plate.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  ½ cup butter or margarine
  •  2 cups granulated sugar
  •  ½ cup whole or 2% milk
  •  4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  ½ cup peanut butter
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  3 cups quick-cooking oats

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the butter, sugar, milk, cocoa powder, and salt to a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth, then stir in the oats.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), drop onto waxed paper.
  6. Let cool until set – about 30 minutes.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:

If you have access to a microwave, try this. Mix together sugar, margarine, milk, cocoa, and vanilla. Heat in microwave 2 minutes. Stir. Heat in microwave 2 more minutes. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Add oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Allow time to cool.

Audio Book Excerpt

Louis Sachar writes stories students love! Holes, The Wayside School Series and There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom are just a few. Check out Sachar’s full list of books on Goodreads. Below is a video interview from Random House Kids with Louis Sachar.

The Play

You’ll find several videos of the play version for There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom on Youtube. Below is a trailer for one of these created by a theater company. This video is only one minute long which makes it a great for showing in class. Have students make comparisons between the book and the play based on this short preview.

On the Web

Teaching Ideas provides a list of ideas to use with your novel study including a PowerPoint with  drawings of important scenes from the book. A blank place for students to summarize the book below each illustration is included. This free resource will make a great addition to your novel study.    

Great Teaching Ideas for There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

Twinkl provides a free download from their site. A large banner makes a great bulletin board header. The download also includes editable bookmarks and a completion certificate. 

Free Book Unit Samples

Grab you free novel study samples including vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed response writing prompt here.

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom Teaching Ideas - Grab a free vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed writing prompts which is great for upper elementary including 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom Teaching Ideas - Grab a free vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed writing prompts which is great for upper elementary including 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom Teaching Ideas - Grab a free vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed writing prompts which is great for upper elementary including 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom Teaching Ideas - Grab a free vocabulary, comprehension questions, and constructed writing prompts which is great for upper elementary including 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.

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