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Find Your Inner Tree Hugger with HOOT!

Find Your Inner Tree Hugger with HOOT!

Hoot, written by Carl Hiaasen, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study whole, class, lit circles, or book groups. Hoot, was published in 2002 and received the Newberry Honor Award for children’s literature in 2003.

Summary of Hoot*:

Roy Eberhart has recently, and unhappily, arrived in Florida. “Disney World is an armpit,” he states flatly, “compared to Montana.”

Roy’s family moves a lot, so he’s used to the new-kid drill. Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. If Dana hadn’t been sinking his thumbs into Roy’s temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is the first interesting thing Roy’s seen in Florida.

The boy was about Roy’s age, but he was running away from the school bus. He had no books, no backpack, and here’s the odd part, no shoes.

Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy’s trail. The chase will introduce him to some other intriguing Floridian creatures; potty-trained alligators, a beleaguered construction foreman, some burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a renegade eco-avenger, some slippery fish, a sinister pancake PR man, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.

Life in Florida is looking up.

*(from the book jacket)

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Hoot for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

 

This is a great novel to accompany a study of:

  • Florida geography and wildlife
  • Montana geography and wildlife
  • Research the role of the US Department of Justice
  • Research the Environmental Protection Agency

 

This is a great novel with themes of friendship, teamwork, adolescence, corporate corruption, environmentalism, and integrity all told in a writing style that tweens and teens can relate to and enjoy.

Take a Lit-Trip with Bud, Not Buddy

Take a Lit-Trip with Bud, Not Buddy

I came across a wonderful discovery, Google Lit Trips! 

This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book. From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?

Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain “just in time” resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references in that portion of the story. The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.

It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you’ll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip “Getting Started” page explains all you need to do.

One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.

This Google Lit Trip maps Bud’s journey to find his father.


Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.


If you are using my Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.

I can’t sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom.

The Travels of Bud, Not Buddy

The Travels of Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy, written by Christopher Paul Curtis, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or literature circle, or book groups in the classroom. Bud, Not Buddy, was published in 1999 and received the Newberry Medal for children’s literature in 2000. Author, Christopher Paul Curtis, was also recognized with the 2000 Coretta Scott King Award, an award given to outstanding African American authors.

Summary of Bud, Not Buddy*:

It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him:

He has his own suitcase full of special things. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue; flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!

Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find his mystery man, nothing can stop him – not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

*(from the book jacket)

This is a great Depression Era novel to use in the classroom to help students understand the struggles of the era, especially as an African-American youth, and to see how perseverance will overcome adversity.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Bud, Not Buddy for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

This is a great novel to accompany a study of:

  • The Depression Era
  • The foster care system during the Depression versus today
  • The role of unions in the American economy
  • Race relations and discrimination during the Depression Era.

 

Take a Lit-Trip with Esperanza Rising!

Take a Lit-Trip with Esperanza Rising!

I came across a wonderful discovery, Google Lit Trips! 

This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book. From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?

Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain “just in time” resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references in that portion of the story. The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.

It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you’ll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip “Getting Started” page explains all you need to do.

One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Esperanza Rising, by Pam Múnoz Ryan.

This Google Lit Trip maps Esperanza’s trip from her home in Mexico to California.


Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.


If you are using my Esperanza Rising Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.

I can’t sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom.

Charlotte’s Web Brings us the Beauty of Friendship

Charlotte’s Web Brings us the Beauty of Friendship

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White is such a wonderful story that has a bit of everything for everyone. It is heartwarming, funny, inspirational, and of course sad. All my students, no matter how tough or cool, have fallen in love with this book. There is a reason it is a classic!

Charlotte’s Web was the first novel unit that I created a novel study and used in my classroom. It’s also the first novel study that I offered for sale. I was trying to think of ways to earn a little extra money to pay the preschool tuition for my son when I wondered if anyone would be interested in purchasing the novel units that I had created for my classroom. I decided to give it a shot and posted my Charlotte’s Web Novel Unit to see what would happen and from there The Teaching Bank was born!

I have used this book in several different ways in my classroom. First, I have used it as a read aloud to spark a sense of community. Reading, discussing, laughing and crying together brings about a sense of class community.

Mostly, I have used this book as a whole class novel unit or as a reading circle or book club unit. I have also used this book as an independent study unit for students.

Whether you use this book for the whole class, small group, individual instruction, or as a read aloud, you will find your students really truly enjoying the beauty of friendship in the story. Even if you don’t use the unit in your class make sure that you include this book in a class library for your students to read. Whatever you do make sure your students have access to this book! It is so much fun and really opens up the reading world for those reluctant readers!