Category: Free Sample Activities

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting is about ten year old Winnie who is stifled by the strict rules her family has set. She decides to run away into the nearby woods. There she finds the Tucks. This family is extremely different from her own. The anchor chart below helps students see some of these differences.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Activities

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Anchor Chart

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

There has been much dispute over the reading order of the seven books that make up the Chronicles of Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book published in the series. Due to this, a reader can pick up this book and not have to read background information to “catch up” with what is taking place in the story. 

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
  • Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
  • The Silver Chair (1953)
  • The Horse and His Boy (1954)
  • The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
  • The Last Battle (1956)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the story of four siblings: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. They have been sent to the English countryside to live with Professor Digory Kirke after World War II breaks out in London. The children discover a wardrobe in the professor’s home that takes them to the magical land of Narnia. Continue Reading

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Bud, Not Buddy

Teaching Ideas for Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy  tells the story of a 10 year old orphan whose mother died four years earlier. The year is 1936. This is during the Great Depression. Bud is taken in by the Amoses who think Bud is a troublemaker. They lock him in the shed, and Bud runs away. Bud goes to the library looking for Miss Hill. She has moved away. Instead Bud sees his friend Bugs who is running away out west. Bud joins him hoping to find his father. Bugs and Bud get separated when Bud is too slow to catch the train. Bud goes to the library to research the walking distance to Grand Rapids where he believes his father is. While walking to Grand Rapids, Bud meets Lefty Lewis who gives him a ride. Bud finally reaches Grand Rapids and finds Herman Calloway, the man he believes is his father. Herman Calloway is an old coot who denies he has a son.

Why Read the Novel?

Bud, Not Buddy is a terrific choice for a class novel study for several reasons: Continue Reading

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Winter Figurative Language

Free Winter Figurative Language

For my January “Free Product of the Month,” I created Winter Figurative Language, four printable activities that focus on winter figurative language. Just click on the image below to download the file.

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Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee - Pairing Anchor Charts with Constructive Response Questions

Maniac Magee is a great unit for teaching both theme and character change. Jeffrey Magee, later nicknamed Maniac, goes to live with Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan after his parents die in a trolley accident. After years of living with his aunt and uncle, who hate each other, Jeffrey decides he has had enough. Jeffrey simply runs away.

After a year of running, Jeffrey ends up in a fictional town called Two Mills. In this town, Hector Street divides the town between the East Side where the African Americans live and West side where the White population lives. Continue Reading

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A Wrinkle in Time Activities

A Wrinkle in Time Anchor Chart Paired with Writing Activity

From the first line of the book . . . “It was a dark and stormy night,” until the last line. . . “But they never learned what it was that Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which had to do, for there was a gust of wind, and they were gone,” A Wrinkle in Time is an exciting story.

In this book three children, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin, go on a rescue mission to save Meg and Charles Wallace’s father from the Darkness that has trapped him. The children are helped by three witches, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatist, and Mrs. Which who provide gentle advice through thoughtful quotes: Continue Reading

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Frosty vs. Rudolph

Free Compare and Contrast Christmas uses the high interest stories of

Frosty vs. Rudolph

I love Christmas! The students’ excitement is magical 

‘The TEST’

Early last year as I was listening to the requirements of our writing assessment . . . . read two informational texts . . . . compare and contrast . . . . write a narrative based on the texts . . . . I decided that I would use the magic of Christmas to practice for the test. After all, half the battle of students performing well on this type of assessment is to build up confidence levels. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to compare the stories behind Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman?” I began researching. Wow! I hit a gold mine. I was surprised to discover that the story behind Rudolph is heartwarming, and there is definitely a connection between the two back stories. Continue Reading

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