The Lemonade War features two protagonists in alternating chapters. The Treski siblings have been super close until this summer when a major event changes their lives. A letter arrives at soon-to-be 9-year-old Jessie and 10-year-old Evan’s house telling the brother and sister they are going to be in the same class in school next year. Jessie is skipping the third grade because of her advanced skills. While this is terrific news for Jessie, it is not so good news for her brother Evan. Evan struggles in school. He is super embarrassed that his little sister is going to ‘shine’ and cause everyone to think he is stupid. These balled-up emotions lead to war in the form of who can make the most money selling lemonade during the last few days of summer…
Jessie finds Evan with Scott getting ready to sell lemonade. She is upset that they don’t want her to help especially since Evan doesn’t even like Scott. [Plus setting up a lemonade stand is one of her favorite activities.] The boys tell Jessie she’s not allowed to help with the lemonade stand.Continue Reading
Dear Mr Henshaw uses a unique storytelling method. The entire book is a series of letters and diary entries. This means the main character tells his deepest emotions to the reader through a ‘personal means’ creating a close connection to the reader.
The book begins when Leigh is in 2nd grade. He writes a letter to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw for a class assignment. A new letter to Mr Henshaw follows each year until Leigh becomes a 6th grader. Leigh’s 6th-grade year is the focus of the majority of the novel.Continue Reading
I 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 withBradley 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.
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.Continue Reading
Your students are going to love these Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes activities!
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.Continue Reading
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing will have your students rolling with laughter. The story tells about Peter Hatcher who lives close to Central Park in New York City with his parents and younger brother Fudge. The novel centers around the events that take place during Peter’s fourth-grade year. Most of Peter’s problems are due to the misbehavior of Peter’s 2/3-year-old brother. Chapters in the novel are individual episodes of Peter’s life.
Summaries of the First Chapters
Peter goes to his best friend’s birthday party and wins a small turtle by guessing the closest number of jelly beans in the jar. Peter is super excited with his new pet and names the turtle Dribble.Continue Reading
In How to Eat Fried Worms, Billy makes a bet with his friend Alan that he can eat 15 worms, one each day, for fifteen days. Tom plans to be Billy’s second, or witness. Joe is going to be Alan’s second. Joe and Alan plan all sorts of schemes to win the bet. In one funny part of the story, Billy pretends that eating the worm has made him crazy. He goes around flapping his arms like a chicken. Students will love reading this hilarious book.
FREE Teaching Ideas for How to Eat Fried Worms
Activity #1 Pom-Pom Worms
While reading How to Eat Fried Worms, students made worms from pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and wiggly eyes. Every year after I know the novels I plan to teach, I love browsing the pages of Oriental Trading to see what cute, easy projects they provide. Their craft kits are very reasonably priced. Here is a link if you would like to check out this company.Continue Reading
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