Monday, November 28, 2016

Using Hatchet in the Classroom

Hatchet, written by Gary Paulsen, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom.  Hatchet, was first published in 1987 and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1988. Hatchet is a riveting book that will grab the attention of even the most reluctant readers.




Summary of Hatchet:

(from the book jacket)

Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure. Brian had been distraught over his parents' impending divorce and the secret he carries about his mother, but now he is truly desolate and alone. 

Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day's challenges. Is the water safe to drink? Are the berries he finds poisonous? Slowly, Brian learns to turn adversity to his advantage; an invading porcupine unexpectedly shows him how to make fire, a devastating tornado shows him how to retrieve supplies from the submerged airplane. Most of all, Brian leaves behind the self-pity he has felt about his predicament as he summons the courage to stay alive. 

A story of survival and of transformation, this riveting book has sparked many a reader's interest in venturing into the wild.


This is a great novel to accompany a study of:
• Research the Canadian oil fields. 
• Investigate the purpose of flight numbers and flight plans. 
• Research how airplanes work. 
• Study search and rescue practices. 
• Learn about heart attacks and CPR procedures.
• Research dehydration effects. 
• Learn about survival skills such as making fire.


I offer a complete novel study to accompany Hatchet 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.




Here's a preview sample of my Hatchet Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 5-8 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Using Holes, by Louis Sachar, in the Classroom

Holes, written by Louis Sachar, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom. Holes, was first published in 1998, and won the U.S.National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 1998, and the 1999 Newbery Medal to name just a few.  In 2012 Holes was ranked number 6 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by the School Library Journal.







Summary of Holes:

(from the book jacket)

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. 

 It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. 

This is a great novel to use in the classroom to help show students the power of questioning and tolerance, and perseverance. A humorous story that students can relate to that sends a positive message


This is a great novel to accompany a study of:

  • Research inventions and inventors.
  • Research Fossils.
  • Research famous outlaws
  • Create a family tree
  • Research Texas
  • Research illiteracy
  • Research homelessness


I offer a complete novel study to accompany Holes 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.




Here's a preview sample of my Holes Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 4-6 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!