Are you looking for a great novel to read with your students? Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is a winner. At the end of each school year, I have my students do a survey called TheTop Five. Students list their top favorites or dislikes depending on the questions…What are your top favorite projects?… Which activities did you enjoy the most or the least?… I always include the question…List your top five favorite novels of the school year. Hatchet is always in the top five and averages number 1 in most classes.
Two weeks prior to the first scene in the book, Grandpa learns the doctors have done everything possible to rid him of his cancer. Doctors give him a few months to live. This devastates his grandson John. John came to live with his grandparents on their farm in northern Minnesota after the death of his parents in a plane crash when he was four.
John deals with the upsetting news of his grandfather’s illness by spending more time working on the farm. He enjoys the sense of accomplishment he feels when the work is done. John works not only to help his grandpa but to have some alone time to deal with the upsetting news.Continue Reading
Activities for Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster
I love Colby Sharp’s book reviews. He is the reason that I first read Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster. Here’s his video on the predictions for the 2019 Newbery and Caldecott winners. Notice that he is holding the book Sweep.Continue Reading
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson is an exceptional book about six students who are placed in an experimental class during their 5th/6th-grade years. The teacher decides that the last hour of each Friday will be ‘talk time.’ She takes them to an empty classroom and leaves the six alone. Slowly the students open up and talk about their troubles.
Authorities take Esteban’s father and move him to Florida where he will be deported. Continue Reading
Lynda Mullaly Hunt tells a fantastic story in her book Fish in a Tree. Told in the 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
Fans of The One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw are going to love Katherine Applegate’s newest novel Wishtree. The story is told from the perspective of Red, a 216-year-old red oak tree living in a suburban neighborhood. Red is one special tree. Every May Day, people in the area tie pieces of fabric with wishes all over Red. Because Red has witnessed years of humans telling her their deepest wishes as they tie rags onto her branches, she understands sadness.
A Muslim family with a daughter named Samar moves into Red’s neighborhood. Red sees how lonely Samar is and wants to help her. Red discusses Samar with the animals that live in her branches hoping for a way to help. One day, Samar ties a wish on Red. Her wish is simple; she wants a friend. With the aid of the animals, Red helps Samar and teaches an important lesson to the entire neighborhood in the process.Continue Reading