Esperanza Rising Character Trait Cards

Free Character Trait Card to use with the novel Esperanza Rising

Esperanza is from a wealthy family in Aguascalientes, Mexico. One day bandits kill her father. The family lawyer informs Ramona, Esperanza’s mother, that the ranch will go to Señor Ortega’s step brother, Luis Ortega. Luis plans to use Ramona to boost his political career. He tells Ramona she must marry him if she wants to live on the ranch. Ramona refuses. The ranch burns in a mysterious fire. Luis offers marriage a second time. Ramona does not accept. Instead, she takes Esperanza and flees to America. They move to the San Joaquin Valley in California. 

Ramona’s life changes completely. She goes from having servants to living in a poor Mexican labor camp. The story follows Esperanza through years of hardship. Continue Reading

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The Witches by Roald Dahl

Free Compare and Contrast Printables to use with The Witches

As September comes to an end, and October rolls around, I like for my students to start a novel with a Halloween theme. These are not necessarily Halloween books, but ones that have themes that represent the season. For younger students, Stellaluna with its bat theme is a great choice. I have used Harry Potter (wizards) and The Spiderwick Chronicles (all types of creatures). This free printable includes several witch activities that can be used while reading Roald Dahl’s book The Witches.

Comparing and Contrasting Two Witches

By teaching a novel with a theme, the difficult Common Core Skill RL.9 compare and contrast becomes much easier. Whether you are comparing themes, setting, and plots by the same author (3rd grade), similar themes and topics (4th grade), stories in the same genre (5th grade), or different forms (6th grade), using a Halloween theme makes the writing projects fun and interesting for students. In this set of free printables, you’ll receive this printable for students to compare the Grand High Witch from Dahl’s The Witches to the Wicked Witch of the West in Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Continue Reading

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The Phantom Tollbooth Novel by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster Teaching Ideas

Milo’s Travels in The Phantom Tollbooth

The Adventure Begins

Bored Milo gets into his toy car and travels through the tollbooth into an imaginary land called the Lands Beyond. His first stop is Expectations where he meets the Whether Man (whether to do this or that), who can’t make any decisions. Continue Reading

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Summarizing Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Teaching Ideas to Use with Woods Runner

Summarizing Booklets

In this free printable, you will receive six mini-books that students can use to summarize Woods Runner.
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Text Structures ~ Ordering

This writing project is not only challenging and fun, but covers many CCSC standards. Students are given four cards placed in a random sequence. They must write a paragraph based not only on what is taking place in the four cards, but also keep to the sequence.

Sequencing Activity

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Pyramid Organizer

This free resource contains pyramid organizers for Sadako and Chizuko plus a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the two characters.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Summary

The atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. At this time, Sadako was two years old. The story begins eleven years later. Sadako wakes up energetic and excited because she enjoys the celebrations of Peace Day.

Sadako loves to run. Her goal is to make the race team in junior high school. She practices daily, but notices that she often feels dizzy after running. In early autumn, Sadako collapses. At the hospital, her family learns that she has leukemia. The radiation poisoning from the atom bomb caused the illness.

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Text Structures ~ Make Your Own Anchor Chart

Text Structures Anchor Chart

This text structures anchor chart has been one of the most popular anchor charts at Book Units Teacher. Because of this, I have decided to provide printables, so you can quickly create your own text structures anchor chart.

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