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The Whimsy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

The Whimsy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is a classic children’s novel that is beloved by millions of young readers. I started every 4th-grade school year with Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing as our first novel unit. It is such a humorous book and opens up many discussions and activities tied to the curriculum and standards. Children relate to the main character, Peter Hatcher, and his struggles to get through the everyday life of a typical 4th grader. Throw in the antics of his younger brother, Fudge, and you are in for a treat! I have never had a child tell me they didn’t enjoy this book. Most students are fighting over who gets to read the sequel, Superfudge, as soon as we finish the unit!

 

 

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing is one of my favorite novels. I loved it as a child and I still love it as an adult. I so enjoyed sharing this story with my students and my own kids. There are so many ways that kids can identify with the main character, Peter Hatcher. Peter seems to have that streak of bad luck that hits us all, at one time or another. Anyone who has a younger sibling (or a toddler of their own) can completely identify with the challenges that Peter’s brother Fudge, creates for the family.

Some elements of the story can be a bit dated, copyright 1972, but this does not seem to bother my students in the least bit! Being from Omaha, this book opens up discussions about living in a metropolis like New York City. My students always enjoy discussing how Peter’s life compares to theirs, which I am sure is even more pronounced for students in more rural areas.

I highly recommend using Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing in your classroom. Not only is it an informative book, but it is also fun! Students will love reading this book and sharing the humor.

See what people are saying about the Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing is an excellent choice for a novel study.
  • Age-Appropriate: This novel is written for children aged 8-12, making it a perfect fit for fourth-grade students.
  • Humorous and Relatable: The book is filled with humor and relatable situations that children can easily connect with, making it a great tool for building reading comprehension and engagement.
  • Develops Empathy: The novel follows the struggles of the main character, Peter, as he deals with a new baby brother who gets all the attention. This helps students develop empathy and understand different perspectives.
  • Increases Vocabulary: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing uses simple language, making it accessible for young readers, but also introduces new vocabulary words that can be taught and discussed in class.
  • Supports Character Development: The novel explores themes of family, jealousy, and responsibility, which can lead to valuable discussions and lessons on character development.

Try a free sample of the novel study for Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing 

I am a big advocate for using humorous books to spark a love of reading, especially with boys. Students can extend their love of Peter and Fudge by reading the sequels Superfudge, Fudge-A-Mania, and Double Fudge.

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing is an excellent novel for a fourth-grade novel study. It’s age-appropriate, relatable, humorous, and educational, making it a great choice for building reading comprehension and character development.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing 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.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

 

Follow the Race with Stone Fox!

Follow the Race with Stone Fox!

As a teacher, finding the perfect novel to use in your classroom can be a daunting task. You want something that will capture your students’ attention, teach valuable life lessons, and align with your curriculum. One novel that fits all of these criteria is Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner.

 

Stone Fox tells the story of a young boy named Willy who lives on a farm with his grandfather. When Willy’s grandfather falls ill, Willy must find a way to save the farm and pay off their taxes. Along the way, he faces many challenges and learns valuable lessons about determination, perseverance, and the importance of family.

One of the reasons Stone Fox is such a great novel to use in the classroom is its relatable characters. Willy is a character that students can easily connect with, and his struggles and triumphs will resonate with them. Additionally, the novel’s themes of family, hard work, and determination are universal and can be applied to many different life situations.

Stone Fox touches on themes of farming, small-town life, and the importance of community, which can be used to supplement lessons in social studies and science. Additionally, the novel’s themes of determination and perseverance can be used to help teach valuable life skills and to foster positive character traits in students.

Stone Fox is a relatively short novel, making it a great choice for classroom use. It is easy to read and understand, and its engaging storyline will keep students’ attention. It also features a strong plot which makes it ideal for classroom discussions and debates.

I offer a novel study to use to help you use this book in your classroom.

See what people are saying about the Stone Fox Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for Stone Fox 

 

This is a great book to read in the spring during the Iditarod. Students can follow along with the race in real-time as they read the book.

I used this novel study every year in my 4th-grade class. My students always enjoyed the book with its heartfelt story, action, adventure, and lessons on courage and perseverance. It is a great book to draw in reluctant readers.”Stone Fox” is a novel that is perfect for use in the classroom. Its relatable characters, universal themes, and alignment with the curriculum make it an ideal choice for teachers. Additionally, the short length and engaging storyline make it easy for students to read and understand. If you are looking for a novel that will captivate your students’ attention and teach valuable life lessons, Stone Fox” is a wonderful choice.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Crazy, Silly Joy of Wayside School

The Crazy, Silly Joy of Wayside School

One of my favorite children’s authors is Louis Sachar. I love his quirky sense of humor, and even more, I love sharing this humor with my students and giggling right along with them! I have many “inside jokes” with my students where the humor brings us together as a community. I am a big advocate for humor in children’s literature because it draws out those reluctant readers and shows them how truly enjoyable reading can be. Often this spark gets these students exploring other forms of literature and leads them on a journey of a lifelong love of reading.

One of my favorite Louis Sachar books is Sideways Stories From Wayside School. Even though I have read this book, and the two sequels, more times than I can count, I still get a chuckle each and every time. The Wayside School series is the great for a class read-aloud or to use as a novel study.


Sideways Stories is told from the point of view of Louis the Yard Teacher, which Louis Sachar based on himself. He spent a college semester working as an aid in an elementary school and spent some of that time as “Louis the Yard Teacher”. Sachar also based most of his characters from the book on students he worked with during that time. Sideways Stories was Louis Sachar’s first book, published in 1978, but it took several years to gain widespread popularity.

Wayside School was an architectural mistake. It was mistakenly built 30 stories tall with only one classroom per story. The story revolves around the class on the 30th story. The book begins by telling us the story of the teacher on the 30th story, Mrs. Gorf. Mrs. Gorf has a special talent that leads to her demise and is replaced by Mrs. Jewls in chapter 2. Mrs. Jewls is a sweet but somewhat naive teacher, which leads to big laughs. A lot of humor comes from Mrs. Jewls’ seemingly lack of common sense. The other teacher discussed in the last chapter is Louis the Yard Teacher. All the rest of the chapters (there are 30, of course!) detail a student. Each student is unique in some ironic, humorous way.

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, and laughing together brings a class together. I can read this at the beginning of the year and still have kids quoting it or bringing up a joke at the end of the year. I have yet to find a child who did not thoroughly enjoy this book.

I have used this book as a whole class novel unit as well as a small literature circle group unit. I have also used this book as an independent study unit for students. I created a unit to accompany Sideways Stories From Wayside School and each of the sequels, Wayside School is Falling Down and Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger.

See what people are saying about the Wayside School Novel Studies by The Teaching Bank!

Reasons to Use the Wayside School Series for Novel Studies
  • Engaging storytelling: The Wayside School series is full of humor and unique storytelling that keeps students engaged and entertained.

  • Relevant themes: The books explore themes such as friendship, perseverance, and individuality that are relatable to students and promote important life lessons.

  • Easy-to-follow narrative: The books are written in a simple and straightforward style, making them accessible to students of all reading levels.

  • Diverse characters: The series features a diverse cast of characters, offering students the opportunity to see themselves and others represented in literature.

  • Cross-curricular connections: The Wayside School series can be used to connect with other subjects, such as history, mathematics, and social studies, making it a versatile tool for teachers.

Try a free sample of the novel study for Sideways Stories from Wayside School 

 

Whether you use these books for the whole class, small group, or individual instruction, you will find your students laughing and truly enjoying reading. Even if you don’t use these units in your class, include them in a class library for your students to read or read as a class read-aloud. Whatever you do, make sure your students have access to these books! They are so much fun and really open up the reading world for those reluctant readers!

You can purchase this novel study which contains both a printable and a Google Drive™ format at the following locations:

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                         

You can also buy all three units together in a discounted bundle!



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Wishtree in your Classroom!

Wishtree in your Classroom!

A friend recently suggested a new book to me, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Katherine Applegate is the author of the beloved book, The One and Only Ivan, which I absolutely adore so I went straight to Amazon to purchase and I am so glad I did!

You first realize this book is narrated by a tree. A tree? Doesn’t sound super exciting, but it really is. The story is written in such a beautifully poetic way and how the author ties current events is mesmerizing and thought-provoking. The reader is left with a lot to contemplate about how we treat others, especially those that are different than ourselves.

Click the book photo to learn more about this book and to read an excerpt.

These lessons are so needed in classrooms today. This book is sure to hook any reader and make them think and philosophize. I highly recommend using this in your classroom!

See what people are saying about the Wishtree Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

 

Wishtree is a novel that can serve as a valuable novel study resource.
  • Wishtree promotes empathy and encourages readers to see the world from different perspectives.
  • Wishtree tackles important social issues such as discrimination and tolerance, making it an educational tool for teaching these concepts.
  • Wishtree is written in a captivating and engaging style that holds the reader’s attention and keeps them invested in the story. 
  • Using Wishtree as a novel study will help improve reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

 

Try a free sample of the novel study for Wishtree 

 

You can purchase this novel study which contains both a printable and a Google Drive™ format at the following locations:



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Power of El Deafo!

The Power of El Deafo!

A couple of months ago, I was partaking in a discussion on Facebook about the factuality of the novel Wonder. Now, I love the book Wonder and feel it has a solid needed place in the classroom, but how the author addresses hearing loss is concerning. I addressed this in my novel study by adding a non-fiction article to help portray the real side of hearing loss so that students reading the novel understand the mistakes made by the author.

While discussing my feelings on Facebook, another person asked if I had read the novel El Deafo by Cece Bell. She was curious about how real and factual it is to a person who walks in the shoes of hearing loss, such as me. She said her students overwhelmingly love the Newbery Honor-winning graphic novel. ordered the novel to read and am so happy that I did!

 

I have been living with hearing loss for over 25 years. It is a daily struggle to communicate with my family and the world. I have lost many things due to my hearing loss, including my teaching career. El Deafo is the autobiographical story of Cece Bell’s struggles with hearing loss told in a graphic novel format that is a perfect way to get the true feelings across. The book highlights how Cece embraces these struggles and turns them into a superpower! Even though Cece is in elementary school in the book and I am well beyond that age, I found myself shaking my head in agreement and relating to Cece like I never have before in any other story I have read. It’s like so many of the things she was saying I have said or felt so many times!

 

The message that volume does not equal better hearing was strong in this book, and it is a message that the hearing world really fails to understand and yet, really needs to! Talking louder, talking slower, talking more pronounced DOES NOT HELP! It makes it much more difficult for those like Cece and myself who rely on lip-reading to understand. If the only message that you take away from this story is NOT to turn up the volume for those with hearing loss, the world will be a better place! That’s not the only message, as there were so many I could relate to, including isolation, feelings of shame, embarrassment, avoidance of situations, putting up with things and people only due to fear, and on and on. Cece doesn’t just focus on the negative, she embraces her differences and turns them into a superpower to draw people to her. I just loved everything about this book. I also believe that you don’t have to have hearing loss to relate to and love this book. It is such a wonderful read for ALL students.

El Deafo is a powerful and impactful novel that offers a unique perspective on the experiences of the hearing-loss community. Its accessible format, relevant themes, and emotional connection make it an ideal choice for a novel study in the classroom. I had never created a product for a graphic novel before, so it was a different process, especially with the lack of vocabulary activities.

I also wanted to include as much real-world information to help the student walk away with a greater understanding of the factual side of hearing loss and to learn better ways to communicate with those that live with a hearing loss. There is so much great information on this subject which made a WebQuest a productive way to address this portion of the novel study, especially in the ever more frequent digital classroom! As with all of my other novel studies, these activities are also available in a Google Drive format for those in a paperless classroom.

See what people are saying about the El Deafo Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Reasons to Use El Deafo as a novel study in Your Classroom
  • Diverse Representation: El Deafo provides a unique perspective on the experiences of people with hearing loss, promoting diversity and inclusiveness in the classroom.
  • Emotional Connection: The personal narrative of the protagonist Cece creates an emotional connection with readers, encouraging empathy and understanding.
  • Promotes Understanding: The book offers insight into the challenges faced by people with hearing loss and promotes a greater understanding of the challenges that they live with.
  • Accessible to All: The graphic novel format makes El Deafo accessible to a wide range of readers, including those who may struggle with traditional text-based novels.
  • Relevant Themes: The themes of identity, friendship, and self-discovery are universal and relevant to students of all ages and abilities, making El Deafo an ideal choice for a novel study.

Try a free sample of the novel study for El Deafo

If you haven’t read this book, please do so, even if you don’t plan to do a novel study. I cannot recommend this book enough to everyone! I hope you will use this in your classroom to help get the knowledge out there for everyone who lives with a hearing loss or knows someone that does. Knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding leads to inclusion and empathy. We can never have enough of that in this world!

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:


 


Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Out of My Heart Pushes Through Fear to Follow a Passion

Out of My Heart Pushes Through Fear to Follow a Passion

In 2010, Sharon Draper brought Melody to life in Out of My Mind. Melody is a young girl whose mind is full of curiosity and vast amounts of information but Cerebral Palsy makes it difficult for her to participate and communicate with her classmates and peers. Out of My Mind helps the reader look at disabilities and accessibility in a different way. Now, over a decade later, Sharon M. Draper has brought Melody back to us. Melody is now a year older and on the cusp of her teenage years. Melody is looking for the independence and experiences that all girls her age strive for. Out of My Heart is the tale of Melody’s pursuits of these experiences at summer camp.


Meet author Sharon M. Draper as she reads an excerpt from her new novel, Out of My Heart.

 This novel helps the reader look at more experiences and roadblocks that kids living with disabilities face. At camp, Melody makes friends with different kids her age who face similar and different challenges. Melody finds camaraderie and true friendship with kids that can really relate, all while facing fears of trying new challenges. Melody’s world is opened up, as are the reader’s eyes, as they experience the challenges of accessibility that are out there for kids like Melody.

From the Book Jacket:

Melody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling middle-grade novel Out of My Mind.

Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own—the dream!

By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.

 

 

 

Try a free sample of the novel study for Out of My Heart

Take your students on this new journey to camp with Melody. Your students will see themselves while they learn about the challenges that are faced every day by those living with disabilities. This helps open eyes and builds empathy to help students strive to make experiences in life accessible to all. 

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Out of My Heart, which includes informational WebQuests to learn more about Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome for use in the classroom or in homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

You can also buy Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart bundled together at a discount!


 

 


 

Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

 

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

 

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

 


 

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.