Category: Free Sample Activities

I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

Lauren Tarshis’s eleventh book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Eleven-year old Oscar lived in Castle, Minnesota with his father and mother. After his father died in a blizzard, Oscar became the ‘man of the house’ looking after the farm. Continue Reading

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The Wild Robot Escapes Activities

Teaching Ideas for The Wild Robot Escapes

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown combines a science fiction story involving a robot of the future with a fantasy in which animals talk. This sequel beautifully wraps up the story.

Roz works on the Hilltop Farm for the Shareef family. The family needs Roz because Mrs. Shareef died in an accident on the farm, and Mr. Shareef injured his leg. Because Mr. Shareef can no longer do farm work, he scrapes together enough money to purchase a refurbished robot to run the dairy farm. Roz works with the animals and makes sure the equipment runs smoothly, all the while planning an escape to return back to her wild island home. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888

Lauren Tarshis’s sixteenth book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Children’s Blizzard. Readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see how John will survive. Continue Reading

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Prisoner B-3087 Teaching Ideas

Prisoner B-3087 Teaching Ideas

Ten-year-old Yanek entertains his family with an after dinner light show when the Germans invade his hometown of Kraków, Poland. Days later a wall is built forming the Jewish ghetto. After this, a series of rules change Yanek’s life. No school for Jews. – His father’s business is taken. – Food is rationed. – A curfew is set. – Jews are deported both to concentration camps and into the Jewish ghetto. Yanek’s family must share their apartment with three other families. Yanek must work in a tailor’s shop.

When Yanek turns 13, he and his father sneak out to an abandoned building to give Yanek a secret bar mitzvah ceremony. Soon afterwards, Yanek sees his parents being deported. Yanek decides to keep working at the tailor shop in hopes of not being deported. This, however, it the very reason he is taken. Tailors are needed at the concentration camp. Yanek lives through ten concentration camps and two death marches over the next three years. Continue Reading

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman Activities

Teaching Ideas to use with the novel Coraline

Neil Gaiman created an incredible book when he wrote Coraline. It contains just enough unusual and creepy events taking place to keep students begging for more. Coraline’s family moves into a large house in the country. The house is divided into four apartments. Upstairs lives the crazy old man who talks of training mice. Downstairs two old ladies live who once were actresses. The fourth apartment is empty. Coraline is bored with little to do in her new home.

One rainy day, Coraline discovers the 14th door in her apartment that is locked. Her mother uses an old key to show Coraline that the door was used when the building was one large house. The opening behind the door has now been bricked up because there is an apartment next door. Continue Reading

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Activities for the Book Restart by Gordon Korman

Free Writing Activities for Restart by Gordon Korman

Restart by Gordon Korman is one of those novels that students love so much they pass it around the class. Students will laugh out loud, emphasize, grow angry, and want to help Chase as he struggles with a difficult situation.

Late in the summer before Chase’s eighth grade year, he wakes up in the hospital surrounded by people who say they are his family. Chase has no memory of them or the fall from the roof of his home that caused him to be unconscious for several days. He has a severe concussion and acute-retrograde amnesia. Dr. Cooperman tells Chase he cannot participate in contact sports for a full year. This is a huge disappointment to the football team as Chase is their star quarterback. Continue Reading

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Fish in a Tree Teaching Activities

Teaching Activities for Fish in a Tree

Lynda Mullaly Hunt tells a fantastic story in her book Fish in a Tree. Told in first person point of view, the book follows Ally through her sixth grade year as she overcomes many obstacles. Ally does a great job keeping the secret that she can’t read until Mr. Daniels steps in while Mrs. Hall is on maturity leave. Mr. Daniels’s teaching methods prove Ally is extremely bright. He realizes she has dyslexia and tutors Ally after school. 

Not only does Ally struggle with reading but also has to deal with a class bully. Not all is bad; Ally makes two great friends. This heartwarming story is sure to make you both laugh and cry.   Continue Reading

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