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Educational Ideas from 5-6 Connection

Ideas for Read Alouds

Grade 5

Among the Hidden, Pinballs, The Boy in the Girl's Bathroom, They're Torturing Teachers in Room 104 (Jerry Piasecki), The Silver Balloon (Bonners), The Teacher From the Black Lagoon

Grade 6

Math Curse (Jon Scieszka), Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Cay

Great Books to Use With Grade 5

My Side of the Mountain, My Brother Sam is Dead, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Pinballs, The Cartoonist, I Wanna Go Home, Howliday Inn, The Cay, Call it Courage, Hatchet, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, Julie of the Wolves, Summer of the Swans, Dear Mr. Henshaw, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Shiloh, Freaky Friday, Mouse and the Motorcycle, Stone Fox, Island of the Blue Dolphins, In the Year of the Boar, Jackie Robinson, What Jamie Saw, P.S. Longer Letter Later, Sun and Spoon, Freak the Mighty, Holes,
Maniac Magee, Crash, Bridget Shinn, Arkansas

Great Reading Activities!

Literature Response Questions - Set One

written by various Connection members

1)If the main character was a friend of yours, what would you advise them to do? How could you help them?

2) Which character would you most like to have as a friend? Why?

3)How might the story be different if it happened somewhere else? (or at another time, depending on the book)

4)Pretend that you are the mother /father of one of the characters, write a letter to that character, commenting on what is happening at the present time.

5)Imagine that you are one of the inanimate objects surrounding the main character in your book. If you had the power to speak...what would you say to them about the situation this character is in.... or what advice would you give to the main character at this point in the story.

6) If you could trade places with one of the characters in the book, which one would it be? Why would you choose this character? Give one thing you would change about the character and explain why you would change it.

7). Write a descriptive poem about one of the characters in the book as though you were that character. Begin the poem "I am..."

8) Does this passage (selection, book, etc.) remind you of anything in your own life?
Why do you think the author chose this topic?
Do you agree with the ending of the book?

9). If you had been the main character in this situation, how would you have reacted differently?

10) In what other place or time could this story have happened? or Why could the story only have happened in this setting?

11) Finish this sentence: I love the way the author...**

12) Have you read any other books by the author you're reading now?
If yes, how does this one compare? If no, would you like to?

13) Tell me about your favorite character in the book you're reading. What kind of person is your character, and why is he/she your favorite?

14) How did your main character change? Is your main character believable?

15) Write a brief interview with the main character in your story.

16) Finish these sentences. I was surprised... I wonder... I wish....

17) Do you think the title of your book is appropriate? Does it "grab" you? How do you think the author chose this title?

18) If you were going to change anything in the book (chapter?) to make it absolutely perfect, what would it be and how would you change it?

19)Imagine how the story would change if the setting changed. IE: if the story took place in a snowstorm? On a tropical island? In outer space on a spaceship?

Literature Response Questions - Set Two

1) Identify some qualities in a character from the book with a person you know.

2) Create an alternate setting for the book. How would things be different and how would they be the same?

3) Which teacher in the building would be proud of or have a good connection with the main character in the book you are reading? Explain why you think so. Cite a specific paragraph in the book that makes you think of that teacher.

4)Would you have liked to have grown up with this person (character)? Why or why not?

5)Would you choose this character to be one of your friends? Explain.

6) If you were to meet the author of this book, what would you ask him/her?

7) If you could change something that has happened in the story, what would it be?

8) How would this change the rest of the story?

9)I have several sets of books with the video that goes with them. After the group has finished the book, and taken the AR Test, they watch the video and the individually make posters comparing the book and video.After the posters are done, the group makes a presentation to the group. I am pleased that most of the kids decide they like the books
better because of more detail, knowing the characters better, etc... This works as a springboard for other students to choose the books for AR reading. (Avis Breding)

10)I also have the group work together filling in a graphic organizer while reading the book. I hang onto that one. Then they fill out another organizer with the next AR book they read and write a short report comparing the two books. I use this same organizer form later in the year when they are doing their own fiction writing.

11)What would you change in the book if you were the author?

12)How would you solve the problem in the book?

13)Write a new ending for the book.

14) Write the first chapter of the sequel of the book.

15)What would be a better title for the book? Why do you think it is better?

16)Is there a character you feel should make a change? What should they do?

17) Is there someone in your life that is like one of the characters in the book? Why are they alike?

Choose a character. Why was this character important in the story?

Did any characters change? If so, how?

If you could be any character in this story, who would you be? Why?

Which character would you like to meet? What would you say to him or her?

Does a character in this story remind you of anyone else you have read about? If so, how are the two characters alike?

How did the place affect what happened in the story?

How would the story be different if it were set in a different place or time?

If you could visit the place, would you go? Why or why not?

Have you ever meen to a place like this one? If you have, how was it like the place in the story?

When does this story take place - in the past, in the future, or in the present? How do you know?

20) PLOT

Tell the main events that happened in the story.

What was the solution to the story problem?

Were you able to guess what was going to happen in the end? How else might the author have ended the story?

What do you think was the best part of the story? Why?


What is your favorite word, line, or paragraph in the story?

Would you like to read something else by this author? Why or why not?

Have you notice anything you think the author might bring up again in the story? If so, what did you notice?

Tell about any images the author has left in your mind.

What special words has the author used so far to help you:
~see things in the story?
~hear things in the story?
~feel things in the story?

What does the dialogue tell you about the characters? Do they talk they way people really talk? Tell why you feel as you do.


What was the author's message? Which story events helped you figure out the message?

If you wanted to suggest this story to a friend, what would you say it was mostly about?

How do you feel at the end of this section/or story?

23) If you were on a deserted island, which character from the book would you like to have with you and why?

24) If you had to find one object that would symbolize the main theme of the novel, what would it be?

25) Choose a character you really dislike in the book and tell me why. Kids always love this one. They love the fact that a teacher thinks it's o.k. for them not to love the whole book.

26) Choose a character from the book and describe what the character might have been like as a six-year old.

27) If there is a hero from the book, tell me about one of his/her faults.

28) When and where did you read most of this book? Is this always your favorite place to read? IF not, tell me about your favorite place to read.

29)You can direct students to take a particular section or chapter in the book and have them respond to several of these questions:

How did this section of my book make me feel?

Did it remind me of anything that has happened in my life?

Did I learn anything from it?

Can I take anything from it to improve myself?

Can I make any predictions on what may happen next?

Why do I think these things will happen?

What details in the section support my prediction?

31) Think of a real life or fictional character (movie, book, TV show)with whom a character in your story might be friends. Give details to support your choice.

32) Is the setting crucial to the development of the story? How might changing the setting of the story affect the events in the story?

33) If you could change places with one of the characters, who would it be? Why? Which character are you most like? Why?

34) Design your own personal response. Remember to get your teacher's approval before you begin.

Literature Response Questions - Set Three

1)I like to have the kids focus on the character traits shown (or not shown) by the various characters. Our school focuses on 7 different traits, so a common question is, "How does this character show the trait, ... honesty?"

2)What could this character do to set a better example of courage?

3) Did the character show citizenship when he did what he did in this section? (Please substitute whatever names your school uses for the character traits.)

4) If you had been (the specifc character) how would have responded to the situation?

5) What is the "moral" of this story? How does the moral of this story apply to me?

6) Three level comprehension guide

Each student can write a statement (or more) at a different level of understanding..
a).literal (straight fact)
b)interpretive (not directly stated)
c) applied (what "lessons" or "universal applications" can be derived from the story?

7) Structured overview of factual story
Each student will choose a fact to report from each page which helps illustrate what concepts the author is trying to explain. If it is a textbook they might use words or concepts in black print...such as facts from a science text.

9) In what ways did the main character change from the beginning to theend of the story?

10) Who would you recommend this book to? Why would you choose that person and why do you think they would like this book?

11)If this story occured in a different time frame, the opposite of when it was written, how would the story line change? Would the actions of the characters be different? How?

12) Do any of the characters change in the story? What made them change?

13) Does the story convey some feeling of mood? How does the author accomplish this?

14)What was the author showing about life in the story?.

15) Cast your favorite scene with actors and actresses seen on TV and/or movies. Why?

16) Connect the qualities of a particular character with a someone you've studied this year (?) in history.

17) How are you alike/different from the main character?

18) If you could change the ending of the book, how would you change it?

19) Compare and contrast two of the main characters (I used this as an assessment for The Whipping Boy)

20)How does the main character/s change in the story? What makes them change or helps them change?

21) How is the character like you or any one else you know?

22) Which part was the most important part? Why?

Literature Response Questions - Set Four

1) If this book were to be made into a movie, what three scenes would HAVE to be included and what three scenes could probably be left out?

2) Would it be easier to change the time or the place of the setting of this story? What would be some times or places where it would be impossible for this story to take place?

3) Make a list of all the adjectives that you can think of to describe the main character (or the setting) in this story.

4) If your main character was going to sit down to watch a
television show, what show would it be and why would they choose that particular show?

Literature Response Questions - Set Five

1) If the characters in the story were crayons, what colors would they be and why?

2) If the characters in the book were animals, what would they be and why?

3)If the characters in the book were food(veggies, fruits,meats, or dairy) what would they be and why?

4) How would you explain (an event in the story) to your younger brother or sister?

5) If (character in book) was granted 3 wishes, what do you think he/she would choose?

6) Put yourself in place of the main charachter. Who will you pick in the story to be your best friend? Please explain your reasons why.

7) Compare/contrast the setting of the story to where you live/or the school is located in.

8) Write a letter to one of the following :

a) a librarian, telling them why they should have this book in their library
b) a friend telling them why they should read this book
c) from one of the book's characters to another
d) the author of the book telling him/her what you thought of it


9) Add a chapter:

a) Write another chapter showing what you think could happen to the characters and events AFTER the action of the book. You will have to think about the characters and what they would do, so that your predictions are logical and believable for the characters.


Before the action :

b) You could write a chapter about these characters BEFORE the action of the book. This could make you think about how or why the characters think or do things in the book.

10) Make up a game based on a book. This can be any type of game you wish - a card game, a board game, a quiz game, a matching game. This game must be related to the story as closely as possible. Write the rules for the game clearly, and don't forget to make all the things needed for the game - such as markers, dice or spinners, cards etc.If there are lots of "bits" to your game, think of some way of packaging the game so they don't get lost. Don't forget to include the book's title and author somewhere on the game's rules or board.

11) Reading a story involves visualizing the characters and scenes. Certain characters remind us of certain events that have happened in our lives.

a)What is something that has happened to you, that you can picture happening to the main character? Tell what the event is and why you can imagine this happening to the main character.

b)Choose a character from the story. Tell what color you think the character's favorite color is. What color is her/his bedroom, car, and favorite clothing. Why did you choose this color?

c)If you were to suddenly appear in the story, what type of character would you be, and why? Explain how your presence in the story would affect the plot of the story thus far.

12) Either take one of the characters out of the chapter(s) you just read and write how the action would have changed, or put an additional character in. (You may use one of the characters from the book, or use a TV character.)

Literature Response Questions - Set Six

1)The chapters in this book do not have titles. What would you call each of the chapters you have read?

2) Is there something surprising in the story? Explain what surprised you.

3)ite some words or phrases that you don1t understand or some words or phrases that you especially like.

4) Explain how you would write the story differently.

5)Write about what makes you laugh or mad or cry in the story.

6) Talk about how the story reminds you of your own life or how it is far different from yours.

7) What is the setting of the novel? Is the setting important or could the novel be happening anywhere? Why?

8) What new things are added to the original problem as the novel progresses? Can you guess at why they are added to the story?

9) What plot twists or unexpected events happen as the novel goes on? What is your reaction to them?

10) Describe any new characters that are introduced. What is their purpose?

11) How are the major and minor conflicts in the novel solved?

12) What message did you get from the chapter? How was this message conveyed?

13) Is the chapter believable?

14)Why would or wouldn1t you recommend this novel to a friend?

15)Create pictures showing how you felt when you read a section of the novel.

16) Create pictures of the characters in the book, the communities in the book, or some events in the book.

17)Show in pictures how a character feels or thinks.

18) Write a poem about a character or event.

Literature Response Worksheet

Your Name_____________________
Title of Book___________________________
Number of pages_______________ Points_____________

Date start/page end/page

LR1. Which character in the story would you most like to have as a friend? What is your reason?


LR 2 I love the way the author:


LR 3.If you could change places with any character in the story who would it be? Why did you choose this character?


LR 4. Name another place and time your story could take place.


LR 5 I wonder/wish/was surprised


LR6 How would your story change if it took place on a tropical island?


LR7 Describe three things about the setting of your story.


LR8 Tell about a time you would have given advice to a character in the story.


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