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A Tale of Perseverance: Where the Red Fern Grows.

A Tale of Perseverance: Where the Red Fern Grows.

Where the Red Fern Grows, written by Wilson Rawls, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study,  for literature circles, or book clubs in the classroom. Where the Red Fern Grows, was first published in 1961 and has become a classic favorite to use in the classroom amongst both teachers and students.

 

Summary of Where the Red Fern Grows*:
Billy, Old Dan, and Little Ann – a boy and his two dogs.

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains – and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that’s only found…

Where the Red Fern Grows. An exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.

*(from the book jacket)

 

 

This is a great novel to accompany a study of:

  • The Cherokee Native American tribe, including the geographic region where the tribe was predominantly found.
  • Dog training and/or Redbone Coonhound breed

 

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Where the Red Fern Grows 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 use in the classroom to help show students the power of setting a goal and working with all your might toward achieving it. A touching story to see how perseverance will overcome adversity.

Rare Tale of Friendship: The Indian in the Cupboard

Rare Tale of Friendship: The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard was first published in 1980, and was so popular it was made into a feature film in 1995. A fantasy that both boys and girls can relate to catches the interest of the most reluctant readers.

Summary of The Indian in the Cupboard*:
When Omri’s big brother has no birthday present for him, he gives Omri an old wooden medicine cabinet he’s found. The cabinet doesn’t seem like much of a present to nine-year-old Omri until he deposits inside it another present he receives for his birthday: a miniature plastic Indian. His mother comes up with a key for the cabinet, and the real magic begins. When Omri turns the key once, the Indian, named Little Bear, comes alive; but turn the key a second time and it’s an ordinary plastic Indian again.

Author Lynne Reid Banks effectively blends the common elements of everyday life with utterly believable fantasy. The first book in this best-selling series enchants readers, while at the same time, reminding them of the responsibilities that accompany friendship and love. Omri’s heart-wrenching decision to send his Indian back to its own world brings up issues of separation for both parents and children alike.
*(from the book jacket)

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Indian in the Cupboard 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:

  • Research Native Americans.
  • Research the Iroquois Nation.
  • Research the different Native American shelters such as teepees and longhouses.
  • Research the American West in the 1800’s.
  • Explore appropriate methods of conflict resolution.
  • Investigate the French/Indian War.

In the years since this book was published there has been controversy regarding the way the author portrays the Little Bear character with erroneous stereotypes of Native Americans. I have to say that there is truth to this controversy, however, I don’t feel it is worth not using this novel. A better way to expand the knowledge of your students is to acknowledge the stereotypes as you read. Discuss them. Learn why they are wrong and help your students learn the proper history of the Native American people. You have the opportunity to use the positives that this book offers while at the same time opening their eyes to how literature and history of the past have not always been the most truthful in their portrayal of certain groups. It is a good lesson to use to teach how fear has driven stereotypes. This book is a great example of how two people of very different backgrounds can find common ground and become allies.

The Indian in the Cupboard, written by Lynne Reid Banks, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom.


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.