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Unspoken / Chickadee

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | February - (Comments Off on Unspoken / Chickadee)

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Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole. Scholastic Press, 2012

1. Who is the person hiding and who or what are they running from? How can you tell?

2. Do you think this is the first time someone has hidden on this family’s farm and gotten help? What can you point to in the illustrations that make you think yes or no?

3. Why do you think the illustrator chose to tell this story without any words?

4. If you were the girl in the story and discovered someone hiding and in need of help, what would you do?

 

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Chickadee by Louise Erdrich. Harper / HarperCollins, 2012

1. Chickadee is taken hundreds of miles from his home and has to find his own way back when he escapes. What knowledge does he draw on? Who are some of his helpers?

2. Everyone in Chickadee’s family is worried about him and misses him, especially his twin, Makoons. What are some of the ways Makoons responds to missing his brother? Why do you think Chickadee’s disappearance is so hard for him in particular?

3. Describe the characters of Babiche and Baptiste. In what ways were they funny? In what ways were they scary?

 

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The Year of the Book

January 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | January | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on The Year of the Book)

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The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012

1. Anna’s mom thinks she is being selfish when she doesn’t want to spend time with other people. Do you think her mom is being fair? What are some of the reasons you do or don’t agree with her based on what you know and learn about Anna in the story?

2. Anna loves to read. What does she enjoy about reading? What role do books play in her life?

3. What are some of the reasons Anna is uncertain about spending time with Laura? What do you think she gains by becoming friends with Laura again?

 

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The One and Only Ivan

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | December | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on The One and Only Ivan)

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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Illustrated by Patricia Castelao. Harper / HarperCollins, 2012

1. If you could pick one character from this book to befriend, whom would it be? Why—what things about this character do you like?

2. What are some of the ways the author made Ivan’s perspective seem true to how an animal might understand and describe what is happening?

3. Ivan remembers a time when he was free. Do you think he’d ever be able to live in the wild again? Why or why not? What about Ruby?

 

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Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta)

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Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo. Illustrated by Beth Lo.
Lee & Low, 2012

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, Sarah. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Marshall Cavendish, 2012

 

 

1. In what ways were Auntie Yang and Dolores Huerta similar women? How are they different?

2. What are some things each woman did to bring together people in her community.

3. In Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic food brings people together. What role does food play in Dolores Huerta?

 

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Giants Beware / The Scary Places Map Book

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in October | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Giants Beware / The Scary Places Map Book)

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Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre. Illustrated by Rafael Rosado. First Second, 2012

1. Claudette has little patience with the grown-ups in her town who are afraid to go after the giant. Why do you think the adults are so afraid? Why do they go after Claudette and her friends?

2. Everyone thinks the giant threatening the town is a “baby-feet-eating giant.” In the end, they discover it’s just a baby giant that loves tickling feet. How / why do you think the story about the giant got so turned around?

3. Gaston and Marie aren’t as brave as Claudette but they set off with her anyway. How does each of the three play a role in their success? Has there ever been a time in your life when you and friends or family members have all contributed in different ways to a project or journey’s success?

 

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The Scary Places Map Book: Seven Terrifying Tours by B. G. Hennessy. Illustrated by Erwin Madrid. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. All of the maps in this books have several features in common. Name at least two things that all of them share.

2. What are three of the dangers to watch out for in “The Land of the Golden Apples”?

3. Who is Mabel in the Western Territories? What does she carry in her pack?

4. If you were designing a scary place, what would it include?

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Malcolm at Midnight

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Malcolm at Midnight)

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Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck. Illustrated by Brian Lies. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

1. Malcolm gets involved in several different mysteries over the course of the story—Aggy’s disappearance, the missing ring, the cat on the fourth floor. How are these all connected?

2. How would you describe Honey Bunny (HB)? Why is he so distrustful of Malcolm? How does his opinion of Malcolm change by story’s end? How does your opinion of Honey Bunny change by story’s end?

3. What changes between Amelia and Jovahn by story’s end? Why does it change? Are there specific things that happen that make a difference in their relationship?

 

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A Friendship for Today

June 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | Summer - (Comments Off on A Friendship for Today)

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A Friendship for Today by Patricia C. McKissack. Scholastic Press, 2007

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Love That Dog

June 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | Summer - (Comments Off on Love That Dog)

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Love That Dog: A Novel by Sharon Creech. Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 2001

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Ruby Lu Brave and True

June 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | Summer - (Comments Off on Ruby Lu Brave and True)

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Ruby Lu Brave and True by Lenore Look. Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2004

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Seaglass Summer

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | May - (Comments Off on Seaglass Summer)

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Seaglass Summer by Anjali Bannerjee. Wendy Lamb Books, 2010

1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?

2. What does Poppy learn about being a veterinarian and how is it different than what she expected?

3. What do you think would be the hardest part about spending time away from home?

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Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof)

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Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka. Illustrated by Nancy Doniger. Roaring Brook Press, 2011

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)
by Linda Sue Park. Illustrated by Istvan Banyai. Clarion, 2007

 

 

1. How did these poems surprise you?

2. Which type of poem would you prefer to write? Why?

3. What word would you use to create your own poem squeezed from a single word?

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The Unforgotten Coat

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on The Unforgotten Coat)

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The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Have you ever left something behind? How would you get it back?

2. Who do you think was the demon and were you surprised at the end?

3. How do the photographs help tell the story? Have you told a story with photographs?

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