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
from the Reading Crew’s Link-up
A Real Treat
The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a blog link up. Enjoy reading through our posts and collecting free materials to use in your classroom this spring. The link-up will run from March 1-4. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post.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 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
Katherine Applegate writes a beautiful story with a unique main character. Wishtree is told from the first person perspective of a 216 year old oak tree named Red. Red is special in several ways. People write wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches each May. Because of this, Red has witnessed a lot of sadness from humans.
Red tells stories to the animals that live in its hollows about the past. This time Red decides not to be an observer. Red jumps into action after seeing the sadness of a Muslim girl named Samar. Samar’s wish is simple. She wishes for a friend. Red enlists her crow friend Bongo to help make Samar’s wish come true.Continue Reading