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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)

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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)

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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)

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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?

 

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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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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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