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Intermediate Title for April: Word with Wings

April 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | April - (Comments Off on Intermediate Title for April: Word with Wings)

words with wingsWords with Wings by Nikki Grimes. Boyds Mills Press, 2013.

1. What are some of the problems Gabriella faces at school? Do you relate to her? How does Gabriella’s teacher help her to solve one of her problems?

2. Why do you think the author used two different fonts in the story? What do you think the two different fonts represent?

3. Read the prologue and the poem on page 22. Why is the main character named Gabriella and how does this name fit her? Think about your own name. How does your name fit you?

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H.O.R.S.E.: / Hoop Genius

March 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | March - (Comments Off on H.O.R.S.E.: / Hoop Genius)

h.o.r.s.eH.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers. Egmont, 2012.

1. Did you have trouble deciding who was talking on each page of this book? What helped you to figure out who was speaking?

2. What is the setting of this book? How do you know? How do the illustrations and the text help you to identify the setting?

3. Do you think the characters are friends? What makes you say that?

 

hoop genius

Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball by John Coy. Illustrated by Joe Morse. Carolrhoda, 2013.

1. Why did James Naismith invent basketball? What experiences helped James Naismith invent the sport?

2. How or why were some of the rules for basketball formed? How were the original rules different from the basketball we know today? Why do think some of the rules changed?

3. Why do you think basketball is still a popular sport?

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Lulu and the Duck in the Park / The Pet Project

February 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | February - (Comments Off on Lulu and the Duck in the Park / The Pet Project)

luluandtheduckintheparkLulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay. Illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. U.S. edition: Albert Whitman, 2013.

1. Talk about how Lulu and Mellie and Mrs. Halliday each feel about animals. What in the story makes you say this?

2. What do you think about animals? Which of the characters are you most like when it comes to your feelings about animals and why?

3. What are some of the ways that Lulu and Mellie help each other? How do you help your friends?

 

pet project

The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses by Lisa Wheeler. Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora. Atheneum, 2013.

1. What are the steps the narrator completes to determine which pet is best for her?

2. Choose a poem or animal. How does the narrator feel about this animal? What in the text makes you think this? Do you agree with the narrator’s observations? Why?

3. What do you think about the assignment her parent’s gave her? Do you think this is a good way to decide what type of pet is best for her? How would you (or have you) determined what type of pet is best for you?Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird / Tua and the Elephant

January 1st, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | January - (Comments Off on The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird / Tua and the Elephant)

no 1 car spotter and the firebirdThe No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird by Atinuke. Illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell. U.S. edition: Kane Miller, 2012.

1. What are some examples of the ways the No. 1 car spotter “works smart, not hard”? What are some examples of the ways he is good at problem-solving?

2. How do the different people in the village contribute to the success of everyone? Additionally, how do you contribute to your community?

3. On page 14 Grandfather says, “Nobody is good at everything, No. 1…You are the No. 1 car spotter. That is enough.” Is this a true statement? Why or why not?

 

tua and the elephant

Tua and the Elephant by R.P. Harris. Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Chronicle Books, 2012.

1. Describe Nak and Nang. How are they the same and how they different?

2. Who are some of the people who help Tua and Pohn-Pohn on their journey? How do they help?

3. What is a sanctuary? Why is it important for Tua and Pohn-Pohn get there?

Both of these books are set in faraway places and have a strong sense of community. How are No. 1 and Tua similar?

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Sophie Scott Goes South / Little Dog, Lost

December 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | December | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Sophie Scott Goes South / Little Dog, Lost)

sophie scott goes southSophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester.   U.S. edition:  Houghton Mifflin, 2013.

1. There are lots of types of illustrations in this book. Why do you think the author/illustrator decided to use so many different types of illustrations? How do you think these different styles of illustrations help you understand the things Sophie describes?

2. Who are some of the people who work on the Aurora Australis and what are their roles? What about the people at Mawson Station?

3. Sophie is a child making this trip for the first time. How do you think that that makes a difference in what she describes? How do you think the story might be told differently if her dad was telling it?

 

little dog lost

Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer.  Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell.  Atheneum, 2012.

1. People in the town have formed opinions of Charles Larue without getting to know him. What do the kids in the town think of Charles Larue? What is Charles Larue really like? Charles Larue changes throughout the story. What is he like in the beginning of the story? How is he different at the end of the story?

2. This book tells the story of three characters, Buddy, Charles Larue, and Mark. How do these three different perspectives help you to understand the characters and their actions?

3. The author wrote this book as a story in verse. Do you think this format, using poetry to tell the story, adds to or distracts from the story? Why?
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It Jes’ Happened / Hold Fast

November 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on It Jes’ Happened / Hold Fast)

it jes happenedGR3-5 It Jes’ Happened:  When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Lee & Low, 2012.

1. Do you think the author of this book thinks Bill Traylor’s art is important? What makes you say that? What did you know about Bill Traylor before reading this book? What do you know now? Do you think his work is important?

2. Why did Bill Traylor become an artist? How does the title of the book reflect this?

3. What challenges did Bill Traylor face throughout his life? How did he overcome them?

 

hold fastGR3-5Hold Fast by Blue Balliett. Scholastic Press, 2013.

1. Why do you think the author chose the Langston Hughes poem “Dreams” as one important to Early and her family? How do you think the poem connects to what happens in the story?

2. How did Early’s life change once her dad disappeared? How did Early adapt to life in a public place? How would you?

3. What kind of a person is Early? What things do you learn about her that makes you say that? How does the kind of person she is help her to find her dad? What are the clues that help Early find her dad?

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Buffalo Bird Girl

October 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in October | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Buffalo Bird Girl)

buffalo bird girlGR3-5

Buffalo Bird Girl:  A Hidatsa Story by S.D. Nelson. Abrams, 2012.

1. Why do you think the author wanted you to learn about Buffalo Bird Girl? What are the things the author included to show you this?

2. What do you learn from the photographs, illustrations, and maps?

3. What do we know about the author from the note at the end of the book?

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Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled / The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled / The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp)

scaly spotted feathered frilledScaly Spotted Feathered Frilled by Catherin Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

1. What is a paleoartist? What decisions do paleoartists have to make in their work? What are some examples of these decision impact their work?

2. Why do you think this book is called Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled?

3. How does a paleoartist learn what a dinosaur may have looked like?

 

true blue scouts of sugar man swamp

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. Atheneum, 2013.

1. Whose stories are told in this book? How are these stories connected?

2. In what ways is the setting of this book important to the story? What elements of the story would change if it happened where you live?

3. What does “being a man” mean to Chap? What does “being a man” mean to you?

 

 

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Barnum’s Bones / Knucklehead / My Name Is María Isabel

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on Barnum’s Bones / Knucklehead / My Name Is María Isabel)

barnum's bones cover

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World by Tracey Fern. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

 

 

knucklehead cover

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka. Viking, 2008

 

 

 

 

my name is maria isabel cover

My Name Is María Isabel by Alma Flor Ada. Atheneum, 1993

 

 

 

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The Beetle Book

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on The Beetle Book)

beetle book cover

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

1. Name at least three things that all beetles have in common based on what you learned from this book.

2. What are three ways that various types of beetles can defend themselves from predators?

3. What beetle in this book was most interesting to you? Why?

 

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The Arrow Finds Its Mark

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on The Arrow Finds Its Mark)

arrow finds its mark

The Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems by George Heard. Illustrated by Antoine Guilloppé. Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. What is a “found” poem?

2. If the text of a “found” poem is taken from something that’s already been written, what role does the poet play? What kinds of things does she or he do to make it into a poem?

3. Pick a poem from this book that you particularly like. What do you like about it?

 

 

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Liar & Spy / The Mighty Miss Malone

March 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | March - (Comments Off on Liar & Spy / The Mighty Miss Malone)

liar and spy cover

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2012

1. Georges is uncomfortable with some of the things Safer asks him to do. Would you do anything differently if you were Georges in terms of how he responded? Would you do anything differently than Georges in terms of handling the bullies he faces at school?

2. Things are revealed near the end of the story that change our understanding of both Georges and Safer. Looking back, can you find clues early on to what we eventually learn about each of them and their situations?

3. Why do you think Georges didn’t reveal the truth—to Safer and to us as readers—about his mom? Why do you think Safer wasn’t honest with Georges?

 

mighty miss malone cover
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2012

1. Deza describes each member of her family early on in the story in an essay for her teacher. What do you learn about Deza from the way she writes? Do you think she’s a girl you’d enjoy knowing? Why or why not?

2. What are some ways the author shows how Deza’s family is affected by having so little money?

3. What are some of the differences between Deza’s school experience/teacher at the beginning of the story, when her family is still living in Gary, and later, when she’s going to school in Flint?

 

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